In his quest for the ultimate date square and his love of all things cranberry, here is Larry’s version of the old-fashioned date square.
Date Squares with Cranberries
Adapted from Food and Drink Magazine (LCBO) AUTUMN 2007
BY LUCY WAVERMAN
If you like thinner squares use a larger pan. Although the original recipe does not call for grated orange rind you can add about 1 tbsp (15 mL) to the filling mixture for a flavour contrast.
4 cups (1 L) chopped, pitted dates OR 3 cups dates and 1 cup fresh cranberries OR 2 + 2
¾ cup (175 mL) sugar (omit the sugar if using the cranberries*)
¾ cup (175 mL) orange juice
½ tsp (2 mL) lemon juice
2 cups (500 mL) flour
2 cups (500 mL) quick-cooking oats
1½ cups (375 mL) brown sugar
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1½ cups (375 mL) melted butter, cold
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Combine dates, cranberries, sugar*, orange juice and lemon juice in a large pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, for 7 minutes or until mixture combines and becomes spreadable.
3. Grease and line an 8 x 10-inch (20 x 25-cm) baking pan with parchment paper. Grease again.
4. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix well. Divide mixture in half. Press half of the mixture into prepared baking sheet.
5. Spread date mixture over bottom crust and sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Press down slightly.
6. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until topping is flecked with gold. Cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours or until filling is set. Cut into squares and keep in a cookie tin, not the refrigerator.
Makes about 20 squares