Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Baking: Date Squares

I don't do a lot of Christmas baking but I do love me some cookies.  So I try to make a few extra goodies for Christmas.  Some of these only get  made at Christmas time so they are an extra treat.  Also I try to let the older girls help with baking so it can become a fun family time (it doesn't always work though as mom has trouble giving up control but we try).  I thought I would share what is on my Christmas baking list for this year along with some of the recipes.

My baking list for this year is:

Shortbread Cookies
Gingerbread Men
Sugar Cookies
Vanilla Walnut Crescents
Butter Tart Squares
Date Squares

Yesterday I made some Date Squares.  This isn't the most Christmassy goodie but I really like Date Squares and I hardly ever make them.  Also this is one of the more healthier recipes I make for Christmas.  It is full of good fibre, iron, and magnesium.

Without further ado here is the recipe:

Date Squares

5 cups (2 3/4 lb/1.25 kg) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups water

3cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted

For filling: in saucepan combine dates, lemon rind and juice, and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until dates are very soft.  stir mixture well to mash dates.

For crust: in bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in melted butter until thoroughly combined and crumbly.

Pat half the crust mixture onto bottom of lightly greased 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan.  Spread filling over crust evenly, sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Bake in preheated oven 350*C for about 45 minutes or until deeply golden.

Cool before cutting into squares.  I then place them in paper muffin cups.

I make this recipe pretty much as written.  I didn't have a lemon on hand though so I just put some bottled lemon juice in the filling.  Also I like oats so I added an extra cup without changing any of the other ingredients.  I imagine this might have made the crust a bit more crumbly but that was okay by me.  Enjoy!

What are you baking this Christmas?

Here the girls are making Sweet Potato Whole Wheat Gingersnaps.

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