This recipe comes from my friend Jacquelyn of TheGourmetHousewife.com. I suppose it’s a bit ‘old lady’ of us to both love date squares so much. Well that’s okay by me. I’ve got the grey hairs to back me up. I have a knitting addiction to prove it. This is a recipe that I’d be proud to take to a potluck or social event and have the older ladies critique.
I’ve taken Jacquelyn’s recipe and adapted it to be both gluten-free and vegan. I’m pretty impressed with myself and how it turned out actually. It’s so good. It doesn’t crumble and fall apart like other gluten-free date squares I’ve tried before.
I have tried these using different ingredients – vegan margarine and coconut oil – and had success both times. I feel confident that if you’re willing to store these in a cool place after baking then you can definitely go ahead and use coconut oil. If these are going to sit out at a warmer temperature than I’d suggest using the vegan margarine as the melting point is slightly higher and there will be less of a chance of your baked goodies falling apart when handled. That never happened to me but I did have to wait longer for these to cool sufficiently before I could serve them up when using coconut oil. The coconut oil flavor doesn’t permeate through the crust at all so you don’t have to worry about it overpowering the date flavors.
- 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1⅓ cups gluten-free flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups chopped dates
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- ⅔ cup water
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
- In a large bowl combine gluten-free rolled oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, vegan margarine or coconut oil, baking soda and kosher salt. Mix together until crumbly. Press half of the mixture firmly into the greased baking dish. Set aside the remaining half.
- In a saucepan combine chopped dates, cane sugar and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes until the liquid is almost evaporated, the mixture forms a nice thick paste and the dates are softened.
- Spread the filling evenly over the crust in the baking dish. Smooth to the edges.
- Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumble mixture over top. Press gently but firmly into the filling.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
- Let cool before slicing and serving.