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Gramma’s Date Squares

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Gramma’s Date Squares are a nostalgic journey back to childhood kitchens, where the aroma of sweet dates and buttery oats filled the air. These squares strike the perfect balance between the natural sweetness of dates and the wholesome goodness of oats, creating a delightful treat that’s not too sweet but incredibly satisfying.

Whether you’re enjoying them as a mid-morning snack, a companion to your afternoon tea, or a comforting dessert, these date squares are sure to bring warmth and joy to any moment. The rustic, homemade charm of these bars makes them a hit at gatherings, potlucks, or simply as a special treat for your family. They’re a testament to the timeless beauty of simple, well-made desserts.

Gramma’s Date Squares Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups sifted pastry flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups packed brown sugar (divided into 1 cup and 1/3 cup)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ pound pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

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Directions

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, sifted pastry flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Blend these dry ingredients well.
  3. Add the softened butter to the dry mixture. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until it becomes crumbly in texture.
  4. Take half of this oat mixture and press it firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan, creating an even layer.
  5. Now, for the date filling: In a small saucepan, combine the chopped dates, water, and the remaining 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Place this over medium heat.
  6. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened into a paste-like consistency.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. This will add a slight tanginess to the sweet date filling.
  8. Carefully spread this date filling over the oat layer in the baking pan, ensuring an even distribution.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the date layer, gently pressing it down.
  10. Place the baking pan in your preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until you see the top turning a lovely golden brown.
  11. Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before cutting into 12 even squares.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes

Kcal: 210 kcal | Servings: 12 squares

Enjoy these delightful date oat bars as a sweet treat with your afternoon tea or as a delicious snack any time of the day!

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Gramma’s Date Squares FAQS


Should you refrigerate date squares?

Yes, it’s generally a good idea to refrigerate date squares. While they can be kept at room temperature for a day or so, refrigerating them will extend their freshness and shelf life. In the fridge, they can last for up to a week. Make sure to store them in an airtight container to maintain their moisture and prevent them from absorbing other odors from the fridge.

What is the history of date squares?

Date squares, also known as matrimonial cake, have a rich history, particularly in Canada where they are a classic treat. Their origin dates back to the early 20th century. The dessert became popular due to the availability of dates, which were an exotic and sought-after ingredient at the time. The name “matrimonial cake” is thought to symbolize the coming together of different elements, much like a marriage, with the sweet date filling uniting the crumbly oat layers.

What is the meaning of date square?

A date square is a type of dessert or snack that typically consists of a layer of sweet, sticky dates sandwiched between two layers of crumbly, oat-based crust. The name “date square” comes from the primary ingredient, dates, and the square shape that the dessert is usually cut into after baking. It’s known for its rich, sweet flavor and chewy texture.

How many calories are in a date square?

The calorie content in a date square can vary depending on the recipe and the size of the square. On average, a standard-sized date square (about a 2-inch square) can contain approximately 200 to 250 calories. This estimate can change based on factors like the amount of sugar, butter, and the type of flour used in the recipe. For more accurate calorie information, it’s best to consult a specific recipe or nutritional label.

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Gramma’s Date Squares

Just baked Gramma’s Date Squares and they’re absolutely divine! Perfectly sweet and oh-so-satisfying! 😋🍪

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 squares 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  1. 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  2. 1 ½ cups sifted pastry flour
  3. 1 ⅓ cups packed brown sugar (divided into 1 cup and 1/3 cup)
  4. ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  5. ¼ teaspoon salt
  6. ¾ cup butter, softened
  7. ¾ pound pitted dates, finely chopped
  8. 1 cup water
  9. 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, sifted pastry flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Blend these dry ingredients well.
  3. Add the softened butter to the dry mixture. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until it becomes crumbly in texture.
  4. Take half of this oat mixture and press it firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan, creating an even layer.
  5. Now, for the date filling: In a small saucepan, combine the chopped dates, water, and the remaining 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Place this over medium heat.
  6. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened into a paste-like consistency.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. This will add a slight tanginess to the sweet date filling.
  8. Carefully spread this date filling over the oat layer in the baking pan, ensuring an even distribution.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the date layer, gently pressing it down.
  10. Place the baking pan in your preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until you see the top turning a lovely golden brown.
  11. Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before cutting into 12 even squares.
  • Author: Valerie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition

  • Calories: 210 kca

Keywords: Date Oat Bars, Homemade Date Bars, Oatmeal Date Squares, Easy Baking Recipes, Sweet Snack Ideas, Pastry Flour Recipes, Rolled Oats Dessert, Brown Sugar Treats, Lemon Juice Flavoring, Healthy Snack Bars, Family-Friendly Desserts, Afternoon Tea Snacks, Soft Date Bars, Traditional Date Squares, Comfort Food Recipes, Fruit-Filled Bars, Nut-Free Desserts, Vegetarian Baking, Simple Dessert Recipes, Homemade Snack Ideas

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