Date Squares


2-1/2 cups pitted dates (about 1-1/4 pounds)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, cold and cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dates, 2/3 cups brown sugar, water and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Place flour, oatmeal, 1cup brown sugar, baking soda and cinnamon in work bowl of food processor. Combine. Add chunks of margarine, pulsing until mixture is crumbly. Pat 1/2 mixture onto bottom of lightly greased 9-inch square baking pan. Cover with date mixture, spreading evenly. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate.

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