Chocolate Date and Oat Fingers

If you have a wicked sweet tooth like me but don't care for overly sweetened treats, then this recipe is for you. Nutty and crunchy from the oats with a sticky core, these cookie bars may not look like much but make up for it in taste. It takes minutes to put together and can be a fun project to do with the kids. You can take these on hikes and road trips or sneak it into lunch boxes as a surprise treat. You will not be unhappy. 

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Ingredients

4 oz porridge oats

4 oz whole wheat flour

6 oz chopped dates

3-4 Tbsp water

2 oz plain chocolate, melted (I prefer unsweetened or bittersweet)

1 Tbsp instant espresso powder (optional)

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place the dates with the water in a saucepan and simmer gently until soft. Add the melted chocolate and coffee crystals, mix and set aside. It should be jammy. 

Whisk the oil and maple syrup in a bowl. Add oats and flour. Mixing with your fingers, make sure everything is nicely incorporated. 

Film a 7 inch square or round pan with oil. Press down half the oat-flour mixture, spread all of the chocolate-date jam evenly and top with the remaining oat mixture, making sure to press down well. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then cut into fingers or wedges. Cool completely in the pan before serving.