date squares (gf + v)

My love for date squares entered my life just when I had given up gluten. Darn, I thought. There's nothing better in the morning than a date square and a cup of tea (I know some may argue with that - date squares aren't exactly the cool thing to eat). But because my resistance for such squares was weak, I knew I needed to find a gluten free version. And voila, I did. The oat base and topping is a little different than your traditional date square - it's a little more granola-bar-ish. But don't worry, they're still as buttery and soft as the rest except instead of butter I used coconut oil. There's also no refined sugar (woo!). If you're gluten-free and feeling date square deprived I encourage you to try these out! And if you're not, try to push aside thoughts of church bake sales and afternoon tea with your grandmother's friends and try them anyways! I'm hoping date squares become the new donut one day ;)

Date Squares (recipe adapted slightly from The Gluten Free Vegan)

1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour (I used Pamela's)
1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil.
2. In a saucepan combine chopped dates, cane sugar and water 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.
3. In a large bowl combine gluten-free rolled oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, coconut oil, baking soda and salt. Mix together until crumbly. Press half of the mixture firmly into the greased baking dish. Set aside the remaining half.
4. Spread the filling evenly over the crust in the baking dish. Smooth to the edges.
5. Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumble mixture over top. Press gently but firmly into the filling.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes unit the topping is golden brown.
7. Let cool before slicing and serving.

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