One of my favourite baking ingredients has to be dates. They have a natural sweetness that is almost caramel-like in taste and they add a wonderful touch when stirred into cakes and cookies. I love eating them out of hand . . . mmmm . . . Medjool dates are my favorites.
I always treat myself to a box at Christmas and in all truth they shine above all other Christmas treats for me. If you have never tried a lovely sticky date, filled with some parmesan cheese, rolled in bacon and then baked, then you have not lived. Fabulously delicious. It's that salty/sweet thing.
These squares I have baked for you before, but some things just bear repeating I think . . . and my photos were not so good when I first showed you these either. I have grown in skill and I have a much better camera now. I really wanted to re-do them, so that you could see them for the truly wonderful squares/slices that they are.
They have a moist, almost blondie-like texture . . . not too sweet, but stogged full of dessicated coconut, and those caramel flavoured bits of dates, they don't need to be too sweet. The dates really shine!
And then there is that tart/sweet lemon glaze icing that just sets everything off beautifully. I always add a touch of lemon to my Date/Matrimony Squares. Dates and lemon . . . so good together! If you like dates, you will love, LOVE these bars/slices! Quick and simple to make. Delicious to taste. Break out the tea cups, coz these are perfectly scrumptious little bites to enjoy with that mid morning cuppa!
Makes one 8 by 12 inch pan
If you like the flavour of dates and coconut, then this slice is for you. Moreishly moist and datey cake, beneath a tangy lemon icing. What's not to like! You can add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts for an extra bit of flavour and texture if you wish.
100g of dessicated coconut (1 1/3 cup)
198g caster sugar (1 cup)
170g self raising flour (1 1/4 cup)
90g of butter (6 1/4 TBS)
1 large egg
125g of stoned dates, finely chopped (generous 3/4 cup)
2 TBS whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the lemon icing:
130g of sifted icing sugar (1 cup)
1 TBS butter
the juice of one lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Line the baking tin with baking paper and lightly grease. Set aside.
Melt the butter. Once melted cool and then whisk in the milk, vanilla and the egg to combine well.
Sift the flour into a bowl. Whisk in the castor sugar, the coconut and the dates. Pour the butter mixture over top and mix well with a fork. Spread evenly into the prepared tin.
Bake for 25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
To make the icing whisk the icing ingredients together until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake. Cut into squares to serve.