It’s been a hot minute since I experimented in the kitchen, but all travel and no baking disasters make Alex appear marginally functional, so I decided it was time to bust out the old recipe box and deflate my ego. This time, I went for Apple-Date Squares, which I thought would be something like a lemon square or brownie. I am starting to wonder if my grandmother was just unclear on what a coffee cake was because I am pretty sure this also qualifies as one!
On the upside, she was pretty specific with this recipe, so no guessing on bake-time or the dish I needed! On the downside, who has an 11.5×7.5×1.5 bake dish anymore? Not this girl! Although, I do have a small roasting pan that size that I inherited from my grandmother, but I am pretty sure that wasn’t gonna work, so I used an 8×8 and it came out just fine.
After laying everything out in an attempt to be more organized, I got to work (I forgot to lay out the nuts, so I’m not sure that qualifies as a total success). Again, my grammy didn’t note whether or not to skin the apples, so although I suspect I was supposed to, I didn’t bother. You really only need one large apple for this recipe, so if you want to skin it, it won’t take long. I’m just that lazy.
Another thing I began to wonder is what kind of dates she would have used because I doubt she would have dealt with the treacherous, natural sugar mess I was making with mine. I used all but 3.5 Medjool dates in the package (I ate those) and they tasted great (duh).
Pro Tip: Be forewarned that de-seeding and chopping that many dates is really sticky work.
She did not mention whether I should pack the brown sugar for the topping, but I seemed to remember my home ec teacher in the 6th grade telling us that most of the time brown sugar should be packed, so I went for it. Whatever, Mrs. Cox was wrong and there ended up being a lot of loose sugar on top of the cake, which no one complained about…possibly because I also ate the entire pan myself (not joking).
Pro Tip: I put the brown sugar topping ingredients in an old cheese container and shook ’em around to mix everything thoroughly. Bust out your inner bartender and shake those ingredients like a martini for a perfect topping blend that avoids lumps and mess.
Extra bonus, my house smelled amazing!