Dates are one of my favourite foods, I think it has something to do with my obsession for caramel – dates are like mother nature’s version of caramel. Thank you. These cute little bites – my Spiced Fudge Date Squares – are like fudgy blocks of dark caramel with a fine biscuit crumb for added texture.
Perfect for an afternoon snack with a cuppa – no added sugar except for the biscuits (which let’s face it was going to happen anyway – now we have just added dates to it – no biggie)
Killer easy to make, just process/melt/mix/refrigerate/eat – rinse & repeat. You will love these, and hate me for introducing you to them…
Makes 36 squares
Fudgy date bites with a hint of spice
- 400g dates
- 120g salted butter
- 1 egg - lightly beaten
- 250g Lotus Biscoff biscuits
- Grease and line a 20 x 20 cm/8 x 8 inch baking tin with baking/parchment paper with the sides overlapping (see note)
- Place dates in a food processor, and process until finely chopped (see note)
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat
- Once butter has melted add dates and stir over a very low heat until the dates have absorbed the butter and thick date paste has formed - remove from heat & allow to cool for about 5 mins
- Without washing, add the biscuits to the food processor and process until fine crumbs
- Add egg to date paste, mixing quickly to incorporate fully
- Place saucepan back over very low heat and cook stirring constantly for 2 mins
- Add biscuit crumbs to date paste, mixing well to combine
- Press date mixture into prepared pan, smoothing well with a silicon spatula (where you put it is where it will stay!) and refrigerate for 2.5 to 3 hours or until firm
- Remove from pan and cut into squares
A note about greasing and lining the baking tin, even though we aren't baking anything. The reason I grease the tin before lining it with paper is so the paper stays in place when I put the mixture into the tin. Especially with a very thick sticky mixture like this you need all the help you can get to keep that baking paper where you put it! My reason for making sure your paper overlaps the side of the tin is because I pull on those sides to get it out of the tin when it's set.
When you process your dates, don't let them process too much or they will form one big ball. This is ok, but it's easier to mix the dates into the melted butter when they aren't all stuck together in one gluey mass. I have made these without processing the dates - I just chopped them up by hand - same result but just not as quick. You could also put the biscuits in a sturdy zip lock bag and give them a bash with something heavy if you want crumbs without a processor.
Make sure you let the date mixture cool before you add the egg or it will scramble.
I have made this with both fresh and dried dates - both came out great. The dried dates came out a bit darker in colour, and a bit more dark versus light caramel in flavour.