Great as a breakfast bar, but also a lunchtime bite, a grab-and-go bar or a picnic extra. “Tasty and versatile”, sums it up well.
Makes: 16 squares
Time: Around 75 minutes
Level: Quite easy
Tins: 1 x 20cm square tin
- 140g/5oz softened butter or baking spread or a mixture
- 75g/2.5oz Light muscovado sugar
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 275g/9.5oz dried dates, chopped (Medjool dates are the best)
- 2 or 3 Tbsp Orange juice
- Zest from an orange
- 2 Tbsp clear honey
- 150g/5.5oz wholemeal flour
- 150g/5.5oz oats
- 150g/5.5oz butter
- 50g/1.75oz soft brown sugar
1. Oven on at 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line the tin then dust lightly with flour. (Leave two opposite edges higher than the tin, to help remove the bake later.)
2. Beat butter or baking spread until soft and creamy.
3. Add sugar and beat in.
4. Sift in plain flour + pinch of salt. Beat until batter comes together.
5. Press into tin* and prick with a fork. (*I use a lightly floured plastic dough scraper.)
6. Bake for about 15 minutes. (NB This will not fully bake this layer; it will be returned to the oven later.) Set aside to cool a little.
7. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer until dates are soft. (If necessary, whizz together to form a spreadable paste.)
8. Leave to cool for five minutes then spread evenly over the cooled shortbread base.
9. Turn oven up to 190C/Fan 170C/375F/Gas 5.
10. Mix flour and oats together.
11. Rub in butter.
12. Stir in sugar.
13. Spoon over top of the filling. Press down, again using the flat side of a floured plastic dough scraper.)
14. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes
15. Leave to cool in the tin then cut.