This is the first time I've made up my own recipe using liquid sweetener instead of regular sugar, and I am overwhelmingly pleased with the results. This is loosely inspired by a recipe in The Meatless Gourmet: Favorite Recipes from Around the World, except I pretty much changed the entire thing. I had intended on using all agave nectar in it, but I didn't have enough on hand, so I used 1/2 agave nectar and 1/2 maple syrup. I think either sweetener would work fine.
(Refined Sugar-Free) Date Squares
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, or other mild-tasting oil
- egg replacement equivalent to two eggs (I used Ener-g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange peel zest
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
1) Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking pan (or coat with cooking spray).
2) In a large bowl combine all cake ingredients, except dates, and beat until there are no lumps. Stir in dates. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
3) Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan completely on a wire rack.
4) While cake is cooling, prepare topping. Combine all topping ingredients, except walnuts, in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
5) Spread topping evenly over cake, then sprinkle with chopped nuts. Cut into squares to serve.