My late Mom’s recipe box is a treasured resource of old family recipes, of which this is one. Perfect for Christmas, these squares are quick and easy to put together and they really are delicious.
Mincemeat does not contain any meat, although it does contain a shredded solid form of fat called suet. While I can buy jars of mincemeat easily in any grocery store here in England, I know it can be harder to source if you live in North America. If you can’t find it, you can click here for a very straight-forward recipe. I also found a suet and sugar free recipe here on the wonderful Gluten Free SCD and Veggie Blog.
Be sure to use proper oatmeal, not the instant kind.
¾ cup rolled oats (not instant)
¾ cup all purpose (plain) flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup butter, (cold, cut in small cubes)
1¼ cups mincemeat (store bought is fine, but choose a good brand)
2 tablespoon rum, brandy, Cointreau or Grand Mariner
(use orange juice instead if you need an alcohol free option)
Grease a 7 inch square pan and line the bottom with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 350ºF or about 160ºC (150ºC for fan ovens). Put the mincemeat in a small bowl and stir in the liquor. Set aside.
Combine the flour with the butter in a medium bowl until mixture resembles fine crumbs. You can use a food processor for this, or do it by hand with an old-fashioned pastry blender. I like to use a pastry blender.
Add the oats, baking soda, salt and sugar to the butter and flour mixture, and mix thoroughly. Press half this mixture into the prepared pan. Put the pan in the freezer, and the remaining oat mixture in the fridge.
After 15 minutes, remove the square pan from the freezer and the remaining oat mixture from the fridge. Carefully spread the boozy mincemeat over the top of the oat mixture in the square pan. Gently sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over top of the mincemeat.
Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the squares are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (Seriously, do not cut into these when they are warm as they will just crumble everywhere.) After the squares are completely cool, put them in the fridge for an hour or so before cutting.
When they are cold, carefully cut them in squares with a sharp knife. (They are not easy to cut, so do take care. I promise it is worth the effort.) These squares are best served cold or at room temperature.
Leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for several days.