I have heard lots of rave reviews about coconut oil in baking, cooking, etc and figured the mild coconutty flavour would work well in date squares. The hazelnuts I had just bought and they were so wonderful (local, organic ones) I threw them in too. I wanted to try to make these somewhat "healthy" for a quick breakfast on busy school mornings; an alternative to store-bought cereal bars. I think you could take out the egg if you wanted to make these vegan with no huge difference. If you don't like the salty-sweet thing, cut the salt in half. —DebS
brown sugar (I think you could cut the sugar down and it would work fine)
flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
steel cut oats
toasted hazelnuts, chopped
dates, medjool if possible (I weighed before I pitted them)
Combine coconut oil, sugar, flour, wheat germ, oats, oat bran and salt in large bowl of a mixer and mix until a crumbly dough forms. Add hazelnuts and stir to combine. Set aside approximately 1 cup of mixture.
To remaining dough add the egg and beat until dough holds together somewhat. It will look like cookie dough. Press into an 8 x 8" pan lined with parchment and set aside.
Pit and coarsely chop dates. Cook with water over medium heat until a chunky, very thick jam forms. Spread over top of dough in pan.
Sprinkle remaining dough over dates and bake in a 350F over for about 30 min. A skewer will come out clean when done. Cool and cut into bars.