Date and almond bars from The Fat Witch
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- 1 3/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped dried dates
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from 1 to 2 oranges
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 1 cup +2 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter almost at room temperature, cut into pieces, 1 1/2 sticks
1grease a 9 x 9" baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350°.
To make the filling, bring the dates, orange juice, and sugar to a boil in a medium pan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the almonds and set aside.
2To make the batter, measure and then sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the oats, brown sugar and salt using a wooden spoon. Add the butter pieces one at a time and mix well. The dough will be crumbly. Finish mixing with your hands until you get a smooth consistency
3press half of the oat mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the date mixture evenly on top of the oat mixture in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top of the date mixture and press down lightly with a fork. Don't worry if it is slightly uneven.
Bake for 30 minutes until light Brown on top and the edges are browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
4Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for one hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12 to 16 bars