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Old Fashioned Date Squares

This easy Old Fashioned recipe for Date Squares, has a tasty date filling sandwiched between a chewy oatmeal crumble. They make the perfect dessert or snack, also known as Date Slices or Matrimonial Bars they are a delicious addition to your Holiday cookie tray!

Cookies on a wire rack.


 

At Christmas time my Mom would make the most amazing Square recipes from Coconut Jam Squares which are my favorite to everyones favorite Lemon Cheesecake Squares! So adding another to the collection is always a great idea!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Dates – Medjool dates if possible
  • Sugar – granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Flour – all purpose flour
  • Rolled oats – the best oats to use are quick-cooking oats
  • Brown sugar – light brown sugar lightly packed
  • Baking soda
  • Salt –
  • Butter – melted – I use salted if using unsalted then use a little more salt
Ingredients to make the date squares.

What kind of dates should I use in date squares?

You should use medjool dates for this recipe. They are typically found in the fresh produce section of the grocery store.

What are Medjool dates?

Medjool dates are a soft and chewy textured fresh fruit, they have a rich, caramel like taste. They are harvested from the date palm, there is no processing, they are not dried in any form, they are cleaned sorted and packaged straight away.

Whereas dried dates are smaller, firmer and have a sweeter more delicate flavor and are usually found in the baking section of the grocery store.

Are Medjool dates pitted?

Some of the Medjool dates are pitted, but if you purchase the ones with pits, you will have to remove them before continuing with the recipe. All you need to do is slice the date lengthwise and remove the pit.

How to make date squares

 In a medium pot add the chopped dates, granulated sugar and water, bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the dates start to fall apart. Let cool. 

making the date filling.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, add the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.

The dry ingredients in the bowl and adding the melted butter.

Place 1/2 the mixture in a greased and floured or parchment paper lined 8-inch square baking pan, and press firmly down.

The crumb mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan.

Place the date mixture on top, then top with the remaining crumb mixture, gently press.

Adding the filling the crumb mixture on top.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

The baked date squares.

Let cool on wire rack completely before removing and cutting.

The squares cut on parchment paper.

Are dates good for you?

Yes they are, they are high in fiber and antioxidants, they can help with improved digestion and lower cholesterol, they also great for weight loss.

How to store this square recipe

They can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. If you want them to last a little longer, you can place the container of date bars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring them to room temperature before serving.

A square on parchment paper.

How to freeze the Date Squares

Freeze the completely cooled squares in a freezer safe container with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

What are date squares made of? 

Date squares are made with a lot of pantry staples you probably already have at home. Besides dates, this recipe calls for: sugar, water, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter.

Did you know?

Date squares are also known as “matrimonial squares” because of the 2 separate layers coming together. This is representative of 2 people coming together to form one marriage and family.

The date squares on parchment paper.

Date squares can be eaten as a snack or even dessert. So if you are looking for a classic recipe to make with dates, I hope you give these Old Fashioned Date Square recipe a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

More Cookie Square Recipes

A date square on parchment paper.

Old-Fashioned Date Squares

Rosemary Molloy
This easy Old Fashioned recipe for Date Squares, has a tasty date filling sandwiched between a chewy oatmeal crumble. Perfect snack or dessert.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 16 squares
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

FILLING

  • cups chopped dates (preferably medjool dates)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup water

CRUMBLE MIXTURE

  • cups all purpose flour
  • cups rolled oats (quick cooking oats)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (melted and cooled)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour or line an 8 inch square (20 cm) pan with parchment paper.

FILLING

  • In a medium pot add the chopped dates, granulated sugar and water, bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the dates start to fall apart and mixture thickens. Let cool. 

CRUMBLE MIXTURE

  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, add the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.
  • Place 1/2 the mixture in a greased and floured or parchment paper lined 8-inch square baking pan, and press firmly down. Place the date mixture on top, then top with the remaining crumb mixture, gently press.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack completely before removing and cutting. Enjoy!

Notes

Store the date squares at room temperature in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. If you want them to last a little longer, you can place the container of date bars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
Freeze the completely cooled squares in a freezer safe container with parchment paper between the layers. They will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe. Date squares were my Mum’s favorite (she called them matrimony cakes – she was from Scotland). I have made this recipe at least a half dozen times now & had to double the recipe this time because they don’t last long. When doubling the recipe I bake for 50 minutes. I have frozen some previously and they freeze very well. I did not bake the bottom layer first and have never had a “soggy bottom” issue. My husband really enjoys these warmed in the microwave with vanilla ice cream. Putting on the kettle now to enjoy a cuppa and a square (or two)! Thank you ever so much for sharing this recipe.

  2. Good Day to you,
    I have a question for you. Do you need to cook the bottom layer at 350 for 7 minutes to get the perfect bottom crust for your squares. It seems to be a frequent question among bakers.
    What do you suggest? Waiting for a reply to my email. This recipe looks so yummy. My family likes more dates in the filling between the layers. Thank you.

    1. Hi Susan, I would say yes you should bake it for the 7 minutes, that way the bottom is baked for a bit so that it will hold the filling and doesn’t become soggy. Hope that helps and you enjoy them. Take care!

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