Combine the dates, water, lemon juice, zest and cornstarch in a medium sized saucepan.
Cook on very low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
To make the oat crumble:
Combine all the dry ingredients together except the butter.
Grate the butter over the dry mixture.
With your hands, incorporate the butter in the oat crumble mixture.
The dough should be crumbly, but if you squeeze it together, it should hold its’ shape.
To make the date squares:
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with non-stick vegetable spray.
Press about 2/3 of the total oat crumble mixture at the bottom of a square pan. press lightly with a heavy bottomed glass.
Bake in oven for about 5-8 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Spread the date filling over the base.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the date filling. Press lightly with fingertips.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.
Set pan on wire rack. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
Can the recipe be made in a 9 x 9 pan? Yes! The end result will be a thinner date bar but equally delicious.Can this recipe be frozen? Yes! Although they can be kept in the fridge for up to one week, they can easily be frozen. Best to cut into larger squares (4 x 4 inches), wrap properly in plastic cling wrap and freeze. Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. *based on recipe by Michele Foreman