Quite often I go searching for a recipe for something a little sweet, but not too unhealthy. Most recipes seem to fall into one of two camps: those which consist of butter, white flour and caster sugar (delicious but not “everyday” foods), and those involving things like coconut flour, rice malt syrup and other ingredients not in my cupboard.
Here, I have adapted a traditional date slice biscuit recipe to be somewhere in between. It’s crumbly, buttery and sweet – but not too sweet – and the oats and almost meal will fill you up for longer than most biscuity treats. It’s indulgent enough to serve warm as a dessert, perfect on frosty wintery nights with a dollop of homemade custard.
· 2 cups dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
· Zest and juice of two large oranges
· ¾ cup butter, chopped
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 1 cup wholemeal flour
· 1 ½ cups rolled oats
· ½ cup almond meal
· ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
· ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced.
2. Grease and line a baking tin approx. 25cm x 25cm.
3. Zest and then juice the oranges. Pour the juice into a cup measure, then add just enough water to fill to one cup.
4. Combine the dates and orange juice in a saucepan and simmer gently for ten minutes. Set aside to cool.
5. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
6. Add the flour, bicarb, oats, almond meal, cinnamon and orange zest and mix well.
7. Tip half the oat mixture into the lined pan and press down evenly to form the biscuit base.
8. Spread the cooled date mixture over the top.
9. Crumble remaining oat mixture on the top so that the dates are completely covered and press down gently with your fingertips.
10. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
12. Serve with a hot cup of tea as an afternoon treat; alternatively, serve warm with custard or ice cream as a dessert.