Zesty date squares

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How long has it been since you sat down with a date square and a cup of tea? Chances are, it’s been awhile – they’ve dropped off the radar a little. Well, I’m here to get these delicious little squares back onto your baking list and give them another 30 seconds or so in the sun.

Whether you’re a date lover or not, chances are you’ll love this slice. The sweet, smooth and juicy date filling is sandwiched between two layers of beautifully buttery oat crumble with just a slight zesty tang of lemon.

The star of this recipe is obviously the filling and to get it perfect you need to use the right dates – Californian Medjool Dates to be exact. Californian Medjool Dates are known for being the highest quality dates around, with these sweet, juicy little treats bringing a beautiful caramel flavour through into your baking. So when you’re hitting the supermarket to grab the ingredients for this slice, be sure to pick up Californian Medjool Dates in the fresh fruit and veg section – you can seriously taste the difference.

If you want to try before you buy, you can pop into Auckland Huckleberry stores from 11am to 2pm between 7 – 18 February to sample some Californian Medjool Dates for yourself. All the details about when are where are below – considering how many the hubby tried to pinch while I was making this slice, you can be sure he’ll be there with bells on.

Store Date
Huckleberry Harvest Wednesday 7 February
Huckleberry New Lynn Thursday 8 February
Huckleberry Glen Innes Friday 9 February
Huckleberry Royal Oak Sunday 11 February
Huckleberry The Strand Parnell Wednesday 14 February
Huckleberry Herne Bay Thursday 15 February
Huckleberry Glen Innes Friday 16 February
Huckleberry Milford Sunday 18 February

While you do need to turn the oven on to make this slice (I know that seems almost unbearable in this heat!) it’s well worth doing. Top tip? Bake the slice first thing in the morning, so the heat’s out of your house before the day really gets started.

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Zesty date squares
Recipe adapted from Ricardo Cuisine

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2  cups (approx. 22) Californian Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Base and topping

  • 1 ¾ cups oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 170g butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Method

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a slice pan with baking paper (I used a 20 x 30cm pan).
  2. Place Californian Medjool Dates, water, brown sugar and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add baking soda. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until Californian Medjool Dates have seperated and filling looks thick and creamy. Set aside to cool.

Base and Topping

  1. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add lemon zest, butter and vanilla essence and mix until well combined and dough sticks together when pressed.
  2. Scoop half the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly. Spread filling over base and top with remaining crumble mixture.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 min or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

This post was made possible thanks to Californian Medjool Dates. All words, images and opinions are my own. 

 

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  • Zoe Kennett

    These sound delicious. Will be making your zesty date squares for Sunday arvo tea

  • Ugeshni Aaliyah Khan

    Yum!