Crumbly and delicious these dates squares are quick to make and really simple too.  They store really well, if you can leave them alone long enough and are great as an afternoon treat or warmed and topped with custard for a quick supper time treat.
Date Squares
Makes 16-20Ingredients

–  135gms oats
–  190gms flour, sifted
–  1/4 teaspoon salt
–  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
–  200gms brown sugar
–  170gms unsalted butter, softened
Date Mixture
–  340gms pitted dates, diced
–  225ml water
–  60gms brown sugar
–  1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 180°C, then grease and a 20x20cm square pan.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the dates and sugar to the water and bring to a slow boil.  Allow to cook for a few minutes until it has formed a smooth mixture.  Whilst this is cooking assemble the crumble mixture, in a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt and bicarbonate of soda.  Then add the chunks of softened butter and mix in lightly with your finger tips till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and all the large bits of butter are gone.  Press half this mixture into the bottom of your greased baking dish.  Now spread the date mixture evenly over this mixture before topping with the rest of the crumb mixture.  Press this down lightly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until top is golden. If you can allow the mixture to cool before removing from the baking pan and cutting into chunks.  Serve at room temperature for a tea time snack or drizzle with hot home made custard for a delicious winter dessert.