You know it’s December when you find yourself eating shortbread for breakfast. This can’t last.
We had our Upscale Bake Sale today as part of the CBC/Suncor Food Bank Drive, so it’s safe to say my baking frenzy has already begun – I’ve pulled out those recipes that only come out once a year, and am pondering what will keep and travel well, and what’s easy to make in large batches.
I’m a mincemeat fan, and while there’s nothing wrong with making pastry to roll and fill and top and bake, it can be a bit much when you’re charged with making 11 dozen of the things. So if you’re going for ease and large batches, these crumbly squares are a streamlined alternative. Also? They’re completely fantastic – date squares without the sticky date filling, but a slightly tarter, more complex mincemeat instead. I like these even better than traditional date squares. I do.
That’s not chocolate milk in the photo, by the way, it’s my coffee – I like drinking it out of thick glass, which holds onto the heat. If you don’t want to serve these like cookies, with coffee or milk, they double as dessert – you can call it a thick mince crumble and serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’d choose this over pumpkin pie any day.
Here’s a Christmas song to listen to while you bake and eat.
Mincemeat Crumble Squares
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-fruit mincemeat
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and pulse or mix until well blended and crumbly; press half into the bottom of an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan.
Spread the mincemeat over the base, then scatter the remaining crumbs over top, squeezing them a bit as you go to create larger clumps. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Cool completely before cutting. Makes 16 squares.