Scrumptious cookie bars with a thick, sweet date filling, a hint of cinnamon and plenty of healthy oats
For the filling:
- 2 ½ cups pitted dates chopped
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces (4 oz or 113g)
- 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 tablespoon water
To prepare the filling:
Place the dates, granulated sugar and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl and add the oats. Blend until combined. Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Spread the date mixture over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the remaining oats over the dates and press lightly to compact. Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool completely and cut into bars or squares.