Sunday 6 July 2008

Date Streusel Squares

These squares were the other sweet treat given to the refreshment stand for last weekends fete. They consist of a shortbread style base, a sticky date filling and a coconut streusel topping. The original recipe called these ‘crumble slices’ but as they also have a base (unlike a crumble) I think calling them streusel squares is better.

I really liked all the different textures of each layer and the coconut in the topping added extra flavour and its own unique texture. My only criticism is that the squares were quite sweet, but then dates are very sweet by nature. Next time I might try reducing the sugar a little.

Other dried fruits such as apricots or figs would also work well in place of the dates. Adding a few finely chopped nuts might be good too.

Date Streusel Squares
(Recipe adapted from Simple Slices by Australian Women’s Weekly)
For the base
90g butter
150g plain flour
75g caster sugar

For the date filling
250g dates
250ml water
20g caster sugar

For the streusel topping
90g butter
30g desiccated coconut
15g shredded coconut
75g plain flour
20g rolled oats
110g soft brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a rectangle pan, around 20cm x 30cm.
To make the base, melt the butter and then add in the flour and sugar and mix well to create buttery crumbs.
Press the crumbs into the base of the tray and pat down firmly.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp and golden brown in colour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Chop the dates into small pieces and add to a pan along with the water and sugar.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until the dates have broken down and the water has been absorbed.
Continue to heat, stirring constantly until you have a thick pasty mixture, around 10 minutes.
Spread the date mixture evenly over the surface of the baked biscuit base.
Now make the topping. Melt the butter and then pour over the rest of the ingredients and mix together, ensuring everything gets evenly coated. Press together gently with your fingers to form small clumps.
Scatter the streusel over the date mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the topping has turned golden brown.
Allow to cool completely in the pan before transferring to a board and cutting into squares with a sharp knife.
Makes 12-15 squares.


Beth (jamandcream) said...

Looks delicious as ever. Perhaps a cunning way to get my hubby/daughter to eat more fruit!

Cakelaw said...

This looks delish - I love dates, and this is a great way to enjoy them.

jasmine said...

I'm always a little happier when I eat datey things. Your squares look very good.


Elle said...

These loot tooooo good! I love dates in baked goods and these are so great with the coconut in the struesel, too.

Gigi said...

I simply adore streusel anything! I am the type of person who would eat all the streusel off the cookies, breads, or muffins before eating the whole thing. It used to drive my mom crazy! I bet she would forgive all past streusel eating injustices if I made her a batch of these!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, date slices... one of my favourites. Home baking at its best, in my opinion!

They look great, Katie. (Try some lemon or lime in the filling to cut the sweetness a little.)

Katie said...

Hi Angela,

Thanks for the tip, I bet lemon would be great. Will remember to try it next time.