I've been making these bars for almost 50 years. I remember my dad saying they were the best he ever tasted. Use your food processor to easily grind the oats.
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 cups chopped dates (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, optional
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Place oats in a food processor, cover and process until finely ground; set aside. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- Divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough to fit a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the dates, sugar, water and lemon juice if desired; bring to a boil. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Spread over crust. Roll remaining dough to fit pan; place over filling and seal edges. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Combine glaze ingredients; spread over bars while warm. Cool on a wire rack before cutting. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Oatmeal Date Bars in Best of Country Cookies 1999, p89
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