Recipe Of The Day: Decadent Date Squares

Remember that picture from my last post about my homemade iced tea?

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Ah, good ol’ times. Seems like just yesterday.

          Admit it. Mondays suck. Even if it’s getting hotter outside, you ARE craving that sweet, indulgent dessert to get through the rest of your day. You guys are lucky, ’cause I’ve got the perfect combination of sweetness, fat and a little fiber to clear your conscience.

          Date squares!

          …and when you think about it, it can’t be that bad with a nice scoop of vanilla iced cream. Served on a tong-shaped plate (or even on that ugly Christmas plate you got as a gift for the Holidays in 1994), it’ll most definitely get that summer touch you’ve been longing for.

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Okay, maybe not on that ugly Christmas plate you got for the Holidays in 1994.

          Plus they’re quick and easy to make using ingredients you probably already have at home! Which means… no harmful chemicals or hydrogenated oils like you’d find in boxed desserts… even though they’ll be ready in the same time as it would take you to make that cake from the mix!

          I bet some of you are already telling themselves: “Oh God, will she ever stop bragging and get to the damn recipe..!” Well, you guys are served, ’cause here it is!


          Recipe for Homemade Date Squares (makes 16 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (preferably rolled or steel-cut, quick oats will make the crust too crumbly)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (white or pastry, haven’t tried gluten-free, if someone does let us know in the comments)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (very important or else the crust won’t have a uniform texture)
  • 3/4 diced pitted dates (I used a small pack of Medjool dates)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (to cut off some of the sweetness)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the dates, water, and 1/3 cup brown sugar to a boil, and cook until thickened. Add in lemon juice, then remove from heat. Spread the date mixture over the crust, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden. Cool, then cut into squares.

Nutrition info:

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Maybe a little (way) too much on the dense side considering the serving size… but hey, Mondays suck and you deserve a treat! 😉 ¡Hasta la próxima!

-AF


Recipe Of The Day: Homemade Iced Tea

…told you it would come soon!

I’m a runner. I just love running. At first I only did it to lose weight (5’3″, 160 lbs around Easter of 2012, now 120), but over time I developed a genuine passion. I recently ran my first official 10k:

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(I had to exchange running packages with a girl from my group who wanted to run the 5k, so that I could have the orange set which gave me the right to run the 10k and that she could have the purple one to run the 5. Ah, organizational trouble, we all love it, right?)

          Anyway. When I get back home from a long run, it’s always nice to have a refreshing drink on hand.

          My mom and I are big fans of loose-leaf tea. So at some point, I just wondered “Hey, why not make it iced?”

          So I went to our local tea shops and got the Pom-Tango (mango and pomegranate) black tea from the summer collection and a mix of Raspberry Balsamico and Limeade Twist fruit infusions (the one in the picture), steeped them twice as strong as I normally would…

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Already getting some coloration after 15 seconds…

          slightly sweetened them with a touch of honey…

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… then let them chill and poured them over ice. The result?

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(Here’s the final result for the Pom-Tango variety)

          A tasty, refreshing summer treat that will sure be a hit! Perfect with a rich and decadent dessert like my homemade date squares (coming up soon)!


          Recipe for Homemade Iced Tea (makes 24 oz of tea, 48 oz with ice; 6 servings)

  • 24 oz boiling water
  • 7,5 tsp loose-leaf tea (I used 3 perfect teaspoons from David’s Tea) (If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, replace it with 6-8 teabags)
  • 1-3 tbsp honey (depending on the type of tea used, as well as your personal taste: if using straight, strong black tea, you might want to use more; cut back if using fruity teas or infusions)
  • 24 oz ice
  1. Bring the water to a boil and transfer to a Mason jar (or any other heatproof container).
  2. Steep the tea for the same amount of time as you normally would (5 minutes is a common time for black teas and fruit infusions, if in doubt look at the package), then discard tea and add honey. Let chill until warm, about an hour and a half.
  3. Let the tea cool completely in the refrigerator for about 1 more hour. When it’s time to serve, either pour over ice in a pitcher or fill glasses halfway with ice to make individual servings. Drink in the 2-3 days after making to ensure the best flavor.

Nutrition info (numbers based on a total 8 oz serving, 4 oz tea and 4 oz ice, with 4 tsp honey added to the whole jar):

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Just made a new batch… plus my grandma’s taking me to “tea time” this afternoon as a graduation gift… more about that soon… I’m out guys! Gotta run off all these indulgences to deserve them! 😉 ‘Later!

-AF


EDIT: As of 05/25/15, my recipe for Decadent Date Squares is available here.