This recipe for these Easy Classic Date Squares will quickly become a household favorite -unsweetened Medjool dates sandwiched between layers of oat crumble. These date squares will provide you with old-fashioned goodness in every bite.
Happy Sunday! Every Sunday, I collaborate with other “Sunday Supper” bloggers on a theme. Since next week-end is Mother’s Day, and since it also fits with today’s Sunday Supper theme, I thought it would be appropriate to share these Easy Classic Date Squares with all of you.
Mother’s Day – it’s complicated, isn’t it? North American tradition will dictate that the second Sunday of the month of May is Mother’s Day. A day set aside to honor mothers and motherhood, and to think of our mothers and children, and the experiences we’ve had with them, what could have been, what should have been… For so many of us, Mother’s Day brings a lot of joy and cause for celebration. Unfortunately, there are also so many women that experience a sense of sadness and loss on this day.
I came to this understanding in the weeks that followed my mother’s passing. Having lost my mom at an age that I considered too young… I can honestly say that today, I am in a place of acceptance and gratitude. But I had my moments of anger and sadness and the textbook stages of dealing with grief. This was especially true the first Mother’s Day that I had no mother to celebrate. My Mom was the kind of mom that Hallmark would make cards about – kind, compassionate, thoughtful, selfless, supportive, and unconditionally loving. I felt very privileged for having had such a wonderful mother, and for having had such a wonderful relationship with her.
When she passed, friends and family came together to tell me how my mother had supported them through their own journeys… guided them through the difficult issues concerning their own mothers and motherhood. It just solidified my belief that my mom was truly a special woman.
It was difficult to face each day without my mother at first. But today, I’ve come to appreciate and better understand that healing is a process. Somehow this process becomes easier if we have faith in it and acknowledge it. Always striving to be in a place of gratitude and not taking relationships for granted is the work that needs to be done everyday… for some of us it’s easy… for others, it’s a little bit more of a struggle. Mother’s Day… don’t be so hard on yourself. My message is to acknowledge and bring a sense of encouragement to those that find Mother’s Day challenging.
My beautiful daughter asked me why I chose this recipe for Date Squares for a Mother’s Day post. Isn’t that a great question? I thought I would share my answer with all of you just in case any of you were wondering the same thing.
For starters, my mom loved this recipe. We would often sit and chat over the date squares together, and those are memories I cherish very much. And, for reasons I cannot explain, this recipe also conjures up visions of old-fashioned goodness and innocence. It has a timeless dimension to it. I can imagine a grandmother, lovingly making these date squares for her grandchildren (and of course, her own adult kids). I am also attracted to the simplicity of this recipe. There are so few ingredients, and they come together so easily.
The date filling: I LOVE dates. They are naturally sweet and are truly nutritional powerhouses. I have already shared a few recipes which highlight dates. (If you are interested, you can see my Ricotta Stuffed Medjool Dates, these Date Bran Muffins and these Almond Date Biscotti). The date filling for these Easy Classic Date Squares is made by simmering dates with water, lemon juice and just a little bit of cornstarch. I also like to add a little bit of lemon zest. Remember to keep the heat low and to stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Once the dates are cooked, you can set them aside to cool off while you prepare the oat crumble mixture.
The oat crumble mixture: This mixture really comes together so easily. I basically combine all the dry ingredients together. I then incorporate the grated butter with my fingers. You will see that the dough will be extremely crumbly, but if you squeeze it, it should hold.
At this point it’s just a matter of layering and baking your Easy Classic Date Squares.
Origin of the Recipe for Easy Classic Date Squares:
I found the inspiration for this recipe in the food section of the newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen. This one dates back to 2006. I have made my usual changes to the recipe – I totally eliminated the brown sugar in the date filling, since I think that dates are sweet enough, and I decreased the amount of salt.
I also wanted to bring your attention to the tray. I borrowed it from my sister, who hosted us for Easter. She mentioned that she had inherited the tray from her mother-in-law. It was truly a perfect match for the date squares.
This recipe for these Easy Classic Date Squares is the perfect dessert any time of the year.
As a final thought, I would like to dedicate this recipe for these Easy Classic Date Squares to my mom and to my sister’s mother-in-law.
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Date Square recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Easy Classic Date Squares
- 1 pound Medjool dates 500 grams, pit removed, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
To make the date filling:
- Combine the dates, water, lemon juice, zest and cornstarch in a medium sized saucepan.
- Cook on very low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
To make the oat crumble:
- Combine all the dry ingredients together except the butter.
- Grate the butter over the dry mixture.
- With your hands, incorporate the butter in the oat crumble mixture.
- The dough should be crumbly, but if you squeeze it together, it should hold its’ shape.
To make the date squares:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with non-stick vegetable spray.
- Press about 2/3 of the total oat crumble mixture at the bottom of a square pan.
- Bake in oven for about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Spread the date filling over the base.
- Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the date filling. Press lightly with fingertips.
- Bake in the pre-heated 350 oven for about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
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ONE FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT #SUNDAYSUPPER…
Every Sunday, there is a wonderful group of bloggers called the #SundaySupper tastemakers that collaborate together on a theme. As was mentioned, today’s theme was Mom’s Favorite Recipes and I think you’ll agree the line-up of recipes is totally amazing!
I would like to thank the event hosts for this event: Christie Campbell of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Wendy Leep Hammond of Wholistic Woman. Thanks Christie and Wendy!
If you have a chance you should really check out these great recipes contributed by these wonderful food bloggers.
Buona Domenica e Buon Appetito!
Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):
- Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal by Cooking With Carlee
- Frozen Pina Colada by The Redhead Baker
- Goats Cheese Rolls with Honey and Thyme by Manu’s Menu
- Mom’s Banana Bread by Family Around the Table
- Mom’s Famous Poppy Seed Bread With A Citrus Glaze by And She Cooks
- Mom’s Wine Spritzer by Momma’s Meals
Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:
- Asiago Bruschetta Roasted Asparagus by Flavor Mosaic
- Italian Country Salad by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Mom’s Potato Salad by Palatable Pastime
- Polish Haluski (Pan Fried Noodles & Sauerkraut) by The Crumby Cupcake
- Spinach Salad with Simple Vinaigrette by Cooking Chat
- Zippy Barbecue Sauce by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Chicken and Egg Salad Sandwich by The Freshman Cook
- Fried Smelt by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Granny Smith’s Meatloaf by Get the Good Stuff!
- Jean’s Best Vegetable Soup by Food Lust People Love
- Lemon & Garlic Herbed Roasted Chicken by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Mama’s Favorite Southern Fried Chicken by The Chef Next Door
- Mom’s Cheese & Onion Enchiladas by The TipToe Fairy
- Mom’s Lentil Toastadas by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Mom’s Moussaka by My Life Cookbook
- Shirley’s Potato Soup by Our Good Life
- Mom’s Spare Ribs To Go by An Italian in my Kitchen
- Mom’s Sukiyaki: Japanese Beef and Vegetables Hot Pot by Asian In America
- Myra’s Super Supper by Tramplingrose
- Apple Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Baklava by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Butter Balls by Feeding and More
- Crustless Pecan Pie Rice Pudding by Desserts Required
- Double Layer Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Chocolate Buttercream by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cake by What The Fork Food Blog
- Hungarian Crepes: Palacsinta by My Gourmet Connection
- Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze and Roasted Strawberries by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Mom’s Apple Pie by Wholistic Woman
- Pavlova with Raspberries and Cream by Caroline’s Cooking
- Rocky Road Brownie Sundae for Mom by The Weekend Gourmet
- Rose Shortbread Cookies by Baking Sense
- Sour Cream Cheesecake by Magnolia Days