Oatmeal Date Cookies

This recipe is a riff of those dense, rich fruit bars the deli in the cafeteria of the Johnson Commons at Ole Miss once sold.

Blend a cup of coarsely-chopped pitted dates with a ¾ cup brown sugar and a stick of soft butter. Sift in a cup of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon baking soda, and a teaspoon salt. Add a lightly beaten egg, a teaspoon vanilla, whatever spices fit your groove (clove and ginger are mine), and a cup and a half of quick-cooking oats. Mix until moist through. Spoon onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

You can also spread this divine, sensuous, facet of rapture in a pan and slice into bars.

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