December 28, 2017

# Bars # Gluten Free

Cranberry Date Squares (gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)

I hope everyone had an amazing Winter Holiday! I sure enjoyed mine by baking up a storm in the kitchen! 
For Christmas dinner I served these date squares and a couple other desserts. The date squares were for sure the big winner! 
And I mean come on with that delightful red color in the filling, how can you not love them for Christmas?

These date squares have a gooey filling and crisp base. The cranberries mixed with the dates is a wonderful combination giving it a sweet and tart flavor.
They also make the perfect after dinner treat as they are light, gluten free, vegan, and free of refined sugars! But I'm sure you can enjoy them any time of year!

Cranberry Date Squares



1 cup oat flour (blend 1 cup of oats in a food processor until it reaches a flour consistency) 
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3-1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp guar gum
pinch of salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Date Filling

1 cup dates pitted, soaked in a cup of warm water
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of meyer lemon
juice of half a meyer lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
couple tbsp of water if needed

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8" baking dish with wax paper
2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oat flour and coconut flour. 
3. With a pastry cutter, cut in coconut oil until it has coated all of the flour and the oil had formed small pea sized balls with the flour. Add as much coconut oil as necessary to achieve this.
4. Add rolled oats, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, guar gum, and salt. Mix until everything is combined. If your mixture is too dry to clump together with your hands you can add more coconut oil.
5. Pour about 2/3 of the base into your prepared dish and press down firmly until the dish is evenly coated and sicking to the dish.
6.  For filling, drain dates and place in them into your food processor. Process until dates have broken down then add in dried cranberries and process again until smooth. You can add in a little water if your mixture is too thick. Alternatively you can reserve some of the water the dates have been soaking in for this purpose.
7. Add in zest of a meyer lemon, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Process until combined. Give mixture a taste and if it's too sour, add in some honey, maple syrup, or more dates until sweet enough.
8. In big spoonfuls drop date mixture on top of oat base layer and smooth out with a spatula until it has covered the base.
9. Top the rest of the oat base on top of date filling and press down so that it sticks to the filling. Sprinkle hazelnuts on top.
10. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown.
11. Allow to cool before cutting

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