Monday, 18 February 2008

D is for Dates

Neither dates nor figs have been high on my list of must have foods. After a debilitating experience with overeating pounds of dried apricots as a kid, I decided fresh fruit was the only way to go; besides which, gnawing through leathery produce leaves a lot to be desired unless it is your final meal. Mind you, there are outlets now carrying fresh dates and figs, lovely when extremely fresh, as the city becomes more cosmopolitan. In addition some brands of dried dates are exceptionally edible when reconstituted for use in date squares which are exceedingly tastier when made fresh and eaten within a couple of days. Oodles of sugar in this recipe, but a religiously followed running program will melt away any excess pounds.

5/8 cup margarine, softened
5/8 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/8 cup sugar plus1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup water
7 ounces dried pitted dates, chopped into 3/8” chunks

  1. Combine dates, white sugar and water in pan and cook over medium low heat for at least 10 minutes or until thickened sufficiently, consistency of peanut butter, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine margarine and brown sugar in bowl until fluffy. Add flours, oats and soda. Mix thoroughly together with spoon.
  3. Spoon 2/3 of flour mixture into 8"x8" glass baking dish and press down. Add in cooled dates and level out evenly. Spread remaining flour/oat mixture on top and lightly press in to dates.
  4. Cook on center shelf of preheated 375' oven for 30 minutes or until nicely browned on top.
  5. Remove from oven to cool. Slice into 16 squares while still warm.
  6. Store in fridge up to 6 days.

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