A lovely date bar with a chewy oatmeal crust. You can substitute almond essence for lemon essence as a variation. My kids love them.
10 Star!!! I make these every day in my cafe for customers who can't get enough of them. Here are some tips to make them AMAZING! I like my squares to have a "crispy" texture rather than dry and loose, so I use a full 1 cup of BUTTER. I then melt it in the microwave until it is just past the really mushy stage. some will actually be melted completely. Remember, if your mix is dry in the bowl, it will be dry on your date squares! Mix the dry ingredients with the butter as instructed. However, after placing half the mixture in your pan, bake it for 15 minutes or until golden brown! This makes them easy to cut and they hold together much better than regular bars. No need to dice the dates, but do have a "squeeze" of each one quick to ensure there aren't any pits in them! Dates are sweet already. So if you just want to taste the dates, omit the brown sugar that is called for in the date mixture. Just add your water and lemon juice. Remove your pan from the oven and you can spread your dates over top right away. Crumble the rest of your mixture over top making sure your entire mixture is mixed with the butter really well. Bake until a golden brown. THESE FREEZE PERFECTLY! I wrap 6 in plastic wrap really well and use within a week so I'm not sure how long you can leave them in the freezer for. Lastly, DOUBLE THE RECIPE! Put it in a 9x13 or 10x14 pan and share with your friends. This is an awesome recipe!!! Thanks so much Michelle. - 19 May 2010 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Wow, good recipe. I halved the sugar in the crust and put none in the filling (dates are so sweet anyway), used ½ c whole-wheat flour + ½ c all-purpose, and substituted ¼ c applesauce for some of the butter. Turned out beautiful, delicious (even better the next day) and almost guilt-free. - 11 Aug 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
Update: baking the bottom layer before adding the dates/top layer works nicely! These were great as is. Moist, flavorful, and easy. I might bake the bottom layer of crust for 5-10 minutes next time to firm it up a bit, but other than that, yum! - 03 Aug 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)