Anna’s Date Squares
We all appreciate the nutritional power of oats at breakfast time, but why not sneak this cholesterol-reducing fibre into a sweet treat? A date square is a Canadian classic, and can be enjoyed all year long. In addition to using Large Flake Quaker® Oats, which are 100% wholegrain, this version has no refined sugar, and the sweetness of dates is enhanced with maple syrup, orange zest, a hint of apple flavor from juice and, of course, lots of cinnamon.
While I like the texture of large flake oats when I make date squares, you can certainly use quick oats or instant oats without compromising the delicious end result. I love that Canadian sweet staple such as this is made with Quaker Oats, which are 100% Canadian.
**Vegan (if you use coconut oil)
**No refined sugar
Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) square pan
Makes 25 squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes, plus chilling (if using butter)
- 2 cups (300 g) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened apple juice or apple cider
- ¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest
- ½ tsp (1.5 g) ground cinnamon
- 2 ½ cups (250 g) Large Flake Quaker® Oats
- 1 cup (150 g) whole wheat all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (1.5 g) baking powder
- ½ tsp (1.5 g) ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup (175 g) unsalted butter (or virgin coconut oil), melted
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan and line the pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides.
- For the filling, place the dates, apple juice (or cider), maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat to cool while preparing the crumble (the filling can still be warm when assembling).
- For the crumble, stir the oats, flour, baking powder and cinnamon by hand in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter (or coconut oil) and maple syrup until the mixture is crumbly.
- Spoon two-thirds of the crumble into the prepared pan and press in. Spoon the date filling over the crumble base and spread to level. Cover with the remaining crumble mixture and press in.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.
- If you made the squares with butter, chill them before slicing (they slice more tidily when chilled); if you made them with coconut oil, slice the squares once at room temperature.
You can store these baked squares (sliced or unsliced) for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze them in an airtight container for up to 1 month and then thaw them on the counter. Once thawed, they will be softer than when they were originally baked.
Coconut oil really firms up in the fridge, so if you are using it to make these squares, avoid chilling them before slicing—they’ll set up too firmly. At room temperature, they are a little softer than chilled squares made using butter, so a sharp knife help you get precise squares when portioning them.
Note: This post is sponsored by Quaker Canada.