Happy Holiday to All

Well it is here.  The holiday will be here in 11 days.  Seems like it was only a few short months ago that I was writing my Christmas post for 2011.  Well with all that is happening in the next couple of weeks this may well be my last post before the Christmas holiday.  A lot has happened in the last year.


I had a fabulous week in Hawaii with my wonderful husband and friends in January.  Upon returning home we nearly froze not because of the climate change but because we set record low temperatures.  Then in April I finally bit the bullet and left my job a short 6 months before my actual retirement date.  That proved to be one of the best decisions I could have made. 


The summer found me spending a great deal of time with grandchildren.  What a blessing!  Now here I am actually retired and looking forward to hubby’s retirement in only a few days.  There is a pretty full year ahead and I can hardly wait.


I started my blog in October of last year.  The blog was my way of sharing my gluten free journey.  It was really a challenge at times but as far as I am concerned well worth it.  I have come a long way on my journey and am learning that I can make almost anything I want gluten free.  Recently I took Baby Kato’s family recipe for Date Squares on Food.com and not only lightened up the sugar but successfully made them gluten free.  Here is BK’s original recipe:


Oatmeal Layer:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oat
1 cup sugar, brown
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional) or 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter


Date Jam:
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup sugar, brown
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Date Jam:
Combine dates, sugar, water and vanilla in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Simmer 5 minutes, until mixture resembles a thick paste.
Cool completely

Oatmeal Layer:
Combine flour, oats, sugar, nuts and salt in mixing bowl.
Cut in butter.
Reserve 2 cups of this mixture for topping.
Press remaining mixture into bottom of greased 9 x 9″ pan.
Spread cooled date jam over the bottom layer and sprinkle reserved oatmeal mixture evenly over top.
Bake 25- 33 minute.
Cool completely then cut into squares.


Here is my gluten free, lighter version of these yummy treats.

Date Jam:
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 
Oatmeal Layer:
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Brown Rice Flour Blend (Recipe can be found on King Arthur Flour)
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oat
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled, cut into cubes

 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional) or 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan bring the chopped dates, brown sugar and water to a boil.  Cook until mixture forms a thick paste.  Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing the crust.

In the bowl of a food processor add the gluten free flour blend, rolled oats, sugar and salt.  Pulse just to combine.   Add in a few cubes of the butter pulsing lightly.  Do not over blend or the dough will be sticky.  Pulse only until well combined.  Add in nuts and pulse until mixed in.  Reserve about 2 cups of the crumbs and press the remainder into a well greased 9×9 inch baking pan.  

Spread the cooled date jam over the crust and crumble the remaining crumbs evenly over all.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool before cutting into squares.  


The original recipe says the yield was 3 dozen.  I think my yield was closer to 2.  These are very rich a little goes a very long way.  These would make an excellent addition to any cookie tray.

BK, thank you for allowing me to play with your mother’s recipe.  The end result was wonderful and something I know I will repeat many times over.

If you don’t hear from me again before Christmas, let me wish everyone a very blessed Christmas season.

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