The Best Damn Date Squares Your Grandma's Ever Had
Jess (AKA @thehealthysweetpotato) and I pulled this recipe out from her vault. Well, ok maybe I forced her to pull this one out of her vault? I made her dates squares a few weeks ago and I abso LOVED them. They are healthy yet feel like such a yummy, sweet treat! I think they are a legitimate option for breakfast...but also make a great mid-day snack. When Jess says “ you may end up eating the whole tray” she is right! Mine were gone in 2-days flat- and that took a lot of willpower!
Take it away Jess!
This recipe is based off my amazing Grandma Patterson’s original date square recipe. I’ve only made a few small tweaks to make them 100% plant-based with a gluten-free option. Everyone always used to say how my grandma’s date squares were the best they’ve ever had so I hope my version can live up to the expectations!
I have so much respect for my grandmother who has now passed but has left me with so many incredible recipes and even more incredible life lessons. I’ve learned a lot from her and I want this recipe to be a tribute to her. I hope she is proud looking down on me and I also hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this recipe with you! These date squares are not only incredibly delicious, they’re also super easy to whip up.
The secret is all in the quality of the dates!
If you can’t find high quality dates, this recipe will still turn out just fine so don’t worry. However, if you want them to be extraordinary, try and find super fresh dates. I get mine from a small local organic fruit and nut shop next to my house called Pestacio. Their fresh dates are to die for!!
The other trick is to make sure you cook the date squares for a long time on lower heat. This will help them stick together. I find they are a bit crumbly and even more so if you are making them gluten free.
Don’t let this deter you! They are still a crowd pleaser and are an excellent option to serve guests as dessert, at a party or just to keep for yourself!
WARNING: You may end up eating the whole tray.
You were warned. Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (if gluten-free, you can use certified GF oat flour or GF all purpose flour)*
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 cups of rolled oats (use certified GF oats if needed)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (I used Wholesome organic coconut palm sugar)**
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups of pitted medjool dates (the fresher, the better)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Place all date filling ingredients in medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the water is gone. You should end up with some sort of a date "paste"
- Grease a square pan (7x11") with coconut oil
- Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl to make the crumb mixture
- Add half of the crumb mixture to the bottom of the greased pan and press it down firmly
- Add the date filling on top and spread it out evenly
- Add the remaining crumb mixture to the top of the date filling
- Bake for 50 minutes
- Let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting.*** Serve immediately or it can keep on the counter covered for 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week. Although, I've never been able to keep them that long 😉
*To make oat flour, simply grind up oats in a food processor or coffee grinder.
**If you do not have coconut sugar you can substitute brown sugar
***Note - these will be a bit crumbly and even more so if you use GF flour or oat flour. However, this will not matter because they taste absolutely AMAZING!
For more delicious plant-based recipes check out Jess' website thehealthysweetpotato.com. Try this recipe and let us know what you think!
Emma and Jess