My daughter is going to college full-time and working (tutoring English in a remedial school here) and comes home famished; these oatmeal and date bars should help, don’t you think?
By the way, if you have a Middle-Eastern grocer nearby, they most likely stock date paste in a package, saving you the trouble of making your own.
- 3 cups of dates
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of rose water or vanilla
Place the dates, water and butter in a saucepan; stir from time to time over very gentle heat until the dates soften, for 20 minutes or so. Let the mixture cool then transfer to the bowl of a food processor and purée the mixture.
• 3 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal
• 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp of baking soda
• 1 tsp of baking powder
• dash of salt
• 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp of cardamom
• 1/2 tsp of dukkat al-kaak (a mixture of fennel and anise and ginger)(optional)
• 1 large egg
• 4.5 oz of unsalted butter (125 g.)
• 1 packed cup of dark brown sugar (200 g.)
• 1/3 cup of tahini
• 1/4 cup of grape molasses (or honey)
Extra tahini to smear the pan
1. In a medium bowl, measure the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and dukkat al-kaak.Mix with a fork or a wire whisk to combine. Measure the 3 cups of oatmeal in another bowl and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor or mixer, place the softened butter, tahini, egg, brown sugar and grape molasses; process into a smooth mixture, then add the flour then the oatmeal to combine into a dough.
3. Smear the bottom and sides of a 9X9 inch pan and pat half the oatmeal dough into the pan. Slather the date paste over the bottom layer of dough. Spread the remaining dough onto a square piece of foil (to fit into the pan); holding the foil, flip it onto the top of the date paste to cover. Peel off the foil and tuck the oatmeal dough in place over the date paste, patching corners here and there with extra dough.
4. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until the squares are puffed up a bit and dry. Serve at room temperature or warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
NOTE: These can also be baked in a 9X13 pan and you would get thinner squares but more of them!
The American University in Beirut is the oldest American university ever outside the US (1864).