When my parents come visit they have to drive three hours. They usually stay for one or two nights. I usually prepare my desserts in advance and they always request my date squares. I have to admit that I also love them. Sometimes I make a batch, cut it in small squares and freeze them for when I crave this dessert.
In August I was invited to be a judge at the first Iron Pan Competition at the Upper Canada Village. It was a great experience and the food was so good. It was fun to see what is going on behind the scenes during these kinds of competitions.
When I left the competition I visited the Village Store where they sell bread, cheddar cheese, jams, spices and marinades. I bought their flour, which was so fresh, and they told me to use it within three weeks or to freeze it. The date squares baked with this flour are more dense but just as good as with any flour. I can't wait to go back to buy more flour, it's a very good quality.
If you like dates as much as I do you may like these desserts:
2 cups dates
1 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1- Preheat oven to 350F.
2- Place the dates, water and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest and the baking soda and mix well. Set aside.
3- Place a parchemin paper in a 9x9 baking pan.
4- Melt the butter in the microwave. Mix in the oats, flour, brown sugar, sugar and salt.
5- Place half of the flour mixture at the bottom of the pan. Cover with the dates. Top with the remaining of the flour mixture.
6- Bake in the over at 350F for 45 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for one hour before serving.