Wheat Free, Dairy Free Vegan- Oatmeal Date Bars Recipe (Squares)

Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Oatmeal Date Bars Recipe (Squares):

1½ cup all purpose LIGHT spelt flour

1 cup Becel brand margarine butter flavour (or Earth Balance sticks NOT whipped)

1 cup brown sugar or cane sugar

1 1/2 cups coarse oatmeal (or quick cook, but NOT instant)

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (& a pinch fresh nutmeg)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon clubhouse rum (grocery store)

Date filling (see later on)

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon (and nutmeg).  Rub in butter with tips of fingers.  Add sugar, oatmeal, vanilla and rum.  Mix well. Spread ½ the crumbs in a greased shallow pan (about 8X8” for big chewy squares! or 8×12 for thinner economical squares) Pat to smooth. Cover with cooled date filling, spreading evenly, then cover with remaining crumbs.  Pat to smooth.

Bake @ 375°F for 30-35min. Increase heat slightly and bake a few minutes longer to lightly brown mixture.  Cut in squares while hot & allow shortbread to cool in pan.

Date Filling:

1/2 lb chopped dates

Grated rind of ½ orange (optional)

1/2 cup cold water

2 tablespoons  orange juice concentrate

2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

1 teaspoon ripe lemon juice

Cook dates, water, orange rind & sugar in small saucepan, over moderate heat until thick.  Remove from heat, add fruit juices, cool before spreading.

If you like thicker filling, the filling recipe can be doubled.

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