Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Family's Date Squares

date squares (1 of 1)

These? These are pure Christmas. No matter what else is going on, no matter if we're spending Christmas in Denver or in the mountains (usually it's the mountains. Spoiled, I know), these date squares must be involved. Somewhere along the way my sister decided, in her infinite infant wisdom, that she didn't like date squares. Hey, that's cool. More for me. I wish I had never convinced her to try them again as an adult. But I didn't want her to miss out on one of the season's greatest pleasures.

It's always my mom who makes these squares, just as the recipe is written on her old recipe card, the same every year. But last year, a miracle of innovation occurred. She grabbed the wrong measuring spoon when adding the salt and ended up doubling the amount. And it. Was. Delicious. I know the salt/sweet combo is all the rage lately, and there is a darn good reason why. that extra salt took these unassuming little bars totally over the top, and I don't think we'll ever be going back. The extra salt has been added to the recipe below. No matter where in the world I am for Christmas, these bars always mean home. My mom has a great Joy of Cooking way of writing recipes out in paragraph form. For nostalgia's sake, I've maintained her style here.

My Family's Date Squares
Family Recipe

Cream together:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar

Mix in by hand:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups quick cooking oatmeal
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pat 1/2 of this mixture into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

In a pot, boil until thickened and then cool:

1 pound dates (pitted and cut in half)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water

Spread that mixture over the first in the pan, then pat in the remaining oatmeal crumbs until smooth. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.


vaishali sabnani said...

These squares look stunning...would love to try them!!

croquecamille said...

We are longtime date bar fans in my family, too. Thanks for the recipe - now I can make them whenever I want!

SJ@afoodieaffair said...

These look delicious! I love date squares and you never see them mentioned anymore. Going to make them soon!

~~louise~~ said...

We made these Date Squares for the holidays, Andrea! They were delicious!!! Thanks for sharing and a Happy New Year to YOU!!!