Did you know that the great Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen was buried with a hearty supply of dates? Could it be he was planning a trip to Bunner’s in the afterlife? Well, this square was one of Kevin’s first requests when I was experimenting with new recipes, and really, who doesn’t love this classic and classy king of the squares family? Buttery golden oats sandwiching rich, silken dates … by this description, our tasty date square would fit right in beside King Tut’s most decadent riches!
I really love how simple and easy this recipe is. The longest step for us at the bakery is pitting the dates. That said, you will need a food processor for this recipe, so if you don’t have one, now’s the time to part with some of that royal gold and invest.
- Yield: 12 home-size squares or 8 Bunner’s-size squares
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9- × 9-inch baking dish with canola oil.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the dates and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon about 10 times, until coarsely chopped—you don’t want to overprocess it. Add half the butter and pulse about 10 times. Add the remaining butter and pulse until the mixture starts coming together and pulls away from the sides of the work bowl.
- Set aside one-third of the mixture in a bowl. Using your hands, scoop the remaining two-thirds into the prepared baking dish, pressing firmly and evenly to form the base. Wet your hands before spreading if you find the mixture too sticky to work with.
- Transfer the cooled dates to the food processor and process to a smooth, thick paste. Using a spatula, spread the dates evenly over the prepared base. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the dates. They will form a nice crumble over top but won’t completely cover the dates. Using your hands, lightly press down the crumble topping.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then refrigerate for 8 hours. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 regular-size or 8 large squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.