Nova Scotia Date Squares!

My family comes from Nova Scotia and majority of my extended family still lives there including my grandparents. Each year, I (and sometimes my husband) make the trek out to visit everyone and I must admit, apart from seeing family, one of my favourite parts of visiting ‘home’ is indulging in the fantastic maritime food :)
My grandfather loves to bake and he is the king of making dessert squares, with his date squares being my absolute favourite, and now I have the recipe! I made one slight adjustment with the sugar, but other than that it is his same recipe :)
So I invite you to bake these Nova Scotian date squares, close your eyes and imagine yourself on Canada’s gorgeous east coast.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter or butter alternative
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 1/3 cup of gluten free flour
1 1/3 cup of oats
1/4 cup of wheat germ (if making gluten free, you can substitute wheat germ for flaxseed, or ground sunflower seed)
3/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

Filling:
3 cups chopped dates

Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter. Use hands to create somewhat of a crumble.
Place chopped dates in sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups of water and stir over low heat until it thickens into a paste, about 15 minutes.
Press half the dry mix into a greased 8″ or 9″ pan. Spread date filling over the base. Sprinkle the remaining mix on top of the dates and press gently.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

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