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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Date Squares

Today was NOT a great day. Adam is out of town. Big A's wet cough got worse and she developed a fever so the school called right as I was getting ready to leave for a counselling appt. It was my first session with a new client and it sounded urgent so I really didn't want to cancel last minute. My mother-in-law was supposed to pick up Little A for a sleepover so I thought maybe she could pick them both up. But my niece (who is the same age as Little A) was throwing up so she had to got pick HER up. I called the school and told them I'd take Big A with me, but they insisted I leave her there to rest until I could take her home.

So, I drove up to our North York office which is a 45 minute - hour drive in midday traffic. My usual parking spot wasn't available so I had to pay to park. I got to the office right at 2pm but...my client wasn't there!

At 2:20pm I phoned her and she admitted she'd lost track of time and it would still be at least another 15 minutes before she arrived. I told her I couldn't stay late so we rescheduled for tomorrow. Then I had to drive all the way back downtown and pick up Big A.

Fortunately, my sister-in-law was able to pick up my niece and so my mother-in-law was able to pick up Little A and keep her for a sleepover so I can nurse Big A.

All this to say, I ended up house bound with a sick 5 year old. No better reason to bake I say. Besides, my uncle Ed from New York,and my parents are coming to town this weekend and my parents adore date squares. I know we'll be spending a lot of time eating at my brother's house so that's another good excuse to bake treats.

The fabulous aroma of these baking certainly put me in a better mood.

A bubble bath, Children's Advil, animal crackers and playing Caillou computer games has put Big A in a better mood too.

Filling

2 cups pitted dates
Juice and zest of a large navel orange
1/2 cup water

Crust

2 cups oat flour (you can grind oats in your food processor)
2 cups large flake oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder (optional)
2 flax eggs (2 tbls ground flax + 6 tbls hot water)
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 tbls coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Set dates, juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to bubble, turn heat down to low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Add water and place date mixture in food processor (or use hand blender) and puree to desired consistency (can be chunky). Set aside.

Combine flax and water and set aside until flax eggs "gel". In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. Stir in flax eggs, agave, oil and vanilla. Press just over 1/2 of mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x9 square pan. Pour date mixture over top and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining crust mixture over top, distributing evenly. Bake in the oven at 350F for about 18-20 minutes, until top is golden and crisp. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.