Donna's Date Squares

Donna's Date Squares 

Without fail, no road trip or church bake sale is complete without a batch of Donna's (a.k.a. Mamma D a.k.a. Gramma D a.k.a Kirstie's Mom) highly addictive date squares!  

This recipe is for TWO 9x9 inch square baking pans.  Because as Donna says, if you're going to make them, make them.  They freeze really well.  

3 cups rolled oats
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2-1 tsp salt (we like that extra bit of salt) 
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 
2 cups PACKED brown sugar 
1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened 
1 1/2 lbs. pitted dates, cut up 
2 cups water, or, as needed 
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (second amount) 
2 tsp. lemon juice, or to taste 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F 
  2. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, salt, baking soda and the two cups of brown sugar.  Mix in ('snap) the butter in until crumbly.  Roughly divide this mixture into 4: pat one-fourth of the mixture into the bottom of one of the 9x9 pans.  Pat the other one-fourth in the bottom of the other 9x9 pan.  Reserve remaining crumble for the tops of the pans. 
  3. For the filling:  place dates, water, and second amount of brown sugar in a medium pot.  Bring up just to a boil and continue to simmer over high heat until thickened, breaking up the dates with a wooden spoon or potato masher until no large pieces of dates remain.  Add more water if necessary.   Stir in lemon juice.  Taste your mixture, make sure it is tart enough.  
  4. Let cool slightly then divide evenly amongst the pans.  Top the pans with remaining crumble.  
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden brown.  
  6. Cool completely (don't even think about it, says Donna) before cutting into squares.  Give the rustic edges to your kids, save the nice ones for the bake sale :) 

 

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Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns

Dough: 

360g (3 cups) flour 
1 ½ tsp. active dry yeast 
¼ cup butter 
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. kosher salt 
2 eggs

Filling: 

½ cup butter 
140g. (3/4 cup) brown sugar 
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
¼ tsp. ground cloves 
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom 
½ tsp. kosher salt 
35g (1/4 cup) flour

Drizzle: 

¾ cup icing sugar 
1 tbsp. whole milk 

 Stand Mixer Method:

  1. Heat buttermilk and sugar to just above body temperature and whisk in yeast. Set aside and allow yeast to bloom (or foam).
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add flour and salt. Mix to combine. Add buttermilk mixture, along with eggs until dough begins to form. Add butter in small amounts until fully incorporated. Continue to mix dough for 6-7 minutes. The dough will be smooth, shiny and slightly sticky. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours (or doubles in size).
  3. While the dough is rising cream together the butter, sugar and spices, using the paddle attachment. When the butter mixture is light and fluffy, add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Flour the work surface with a generous amount of flour, roll out the dough into a long rectangle (30x 10 inch). Spread with butter filling over the  entire rectangle. Roll the dough in a long log, starting with the 30 inch side. 
  5. Cut the log into 1 ½ inch rounds, place in a butter baking dish. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow it to double in size. Alternatively, place buns directly in the fridge overnight, after they are wrapped and before you allow them to double in size. Remove them from the fridge in the morning and allow them to double in size before baking.
  6. To bake: preheat the oven to 350F, place buns on the middle rack and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown, and no longer sticky in the centre.
  7. Milk icing: mix together 1 tbsp milk with enough icing sugar to form a thick paste.
  8. Once the buns have cooled for 15-20 minutes spread on milk icing. 

Enjoy….good luck eating only 1!!

By hand Method...the dark path to a ray of light!!

  1. Heat buttermilk and sugar to just above body temperature and whisk in yeast. Set aside and allow yeast to bloom (or foam).
  2. In a bowl using a wooden spoon stir together flour and salt. Add buttermilk mixture, along with eggs until dough begins to form. Knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth. Add butter in small amounts until fully incorporated. The dough will become lumpy and clumpy and you will feel like you are on a dark path... Continue to mix dough for 6-7 minutes. The dough will be smooth, shiny and slightly sticky. You may need to dust with a small amount of flour to get here.  Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm spot for a couple of hours (or doubles in size).
  3. While the dough is rising cream together the butter, sugar and spices, using a wooden spoon. When the butter mixture is light and fluffy, add flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Flour the work surface with a generous amount of flour, roll out the dough into a long rectangle (30x 10 inch). Spread with butter filling over the  entire rectangle. Roll the dough in a long log, starting with the 30 inch side. 
  5. Cut the log into 1 ½ inch rounds, place in a butter baking dish. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow it to double in size. Alternatively, place buns directly in the fridge overnight, after they are wrapped and before you allow them to double in size. Remove them from the fridge in the morning and allow them to double in size before baking.
  6. To bake: preheat the oven to 350F, place buns on the middle rack and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown, and no longer sticky in the centre.
  7. Milk icing: mix together 1 tbsp milk with enough icing sugar to form a thick paste.
  8. Once the buns have cooled for 15-20 minutes spread on milk icing. 

Enjoy….good luck eating only 1!!

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