Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
Prepare Oatmeal Crust. Spread 1/2 the Oatmeal Crust mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, combine dates, sugar, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the dates
are soft and have absorbed most of the water (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract; set aside.
Carefully spread the cooled date filling evenly over the oatmeal crust. Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal crust evenly over the top of the dates.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the squares have cooled,
cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least one hour or until firm enough to cut easily into squares.
Storage: These Oatmeal Date Squares will keep, covered, in the refrigerator up to a week.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening*
* I usually substituted cold,
unsalted butter for the vegetable shortening. Cut butter into small pieces. My
Aunt's original recipe called for shortening, which was popular to use in baking.
In a large mixing bowl. combine oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in the
vegetable shortening or butter until crumbly.