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Date Oat Squares (à la Candle Café)


1 cup pitted dates (or dried apricots or prunes)

3 cups oat flour (or oats ground in food processor)

3 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cardamon (optional)

While preparing and measuring ingredients, soak dates (or other dried fruit) in hot/boiled water for about 20 minutes (water should just cover the fruit). Preheat oven to 350ºF. Either grease or line with parchment paper a 7″x7″ pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine all wet ingredients (not dates) in another. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. With an immersion blender, purée dates into paste. Press half the batter mixture into pan and spread  date purée evenly. Cover with remaining batter and press down lightly. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool and set. Cut into squares. The squares will harden overnight and will be perfect to portion out into travel snacks or enjoyed throughout the day.