This recipe was inspired by a date cake I had at Candle Cafe while in New York City. I made a few minor changes to make it a bit healthier and voila! Absolutely delicious. The best part is that my husband and kids LOVED them. Of course they are still a "treat" and not something to be indulged in regularly, but I was absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. Now keep in mind that the dates need to be soaked and pureed, and you'll need to make the oat flour....but once those 2 task are handled this is a VERY quick and easy recipe :)
1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked for a few hours or overnight
4 cups of rolled oats (I prefer old-fashioned)
4 cups oat flour*
3/4 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 cup of applesauce
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.Cover the dates in water and allow to soak for a few hours. Discard the water and put the dates in a food processor; pulse until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flours, nuts and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, blend together the syrup, oils, applesauce and extracts. Combine it with the dry ingredients and stir it well.
4. Pour half of the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Press the mixture into the pan and then spread the dates on top. Add the remaining of the mixture on top and press it lightly into the pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool and then cut into squares.
I love to store these in the freezer and then I can quickly warm one up whenever I am in the mood for a tasty treat.
*For the oat flour, simply put your oats in a wheat grinder, high-powered blender, or food processor.