You may know these as Matrimonial Squares. I have always known them as Date Squares. Regardless what they are called, they are tasty. Growing up, Date Squares were pretty much a staple in our household. They are a good, wholesome square made with a tasty date mixture sandwiched between two layers of a rolled oats, flour, and butter mixture. While these squares can be made with margarine, they are ever so much better when made with butter! I add a touch of orange rind to my recipe as it gives them a nice tangy taste.
8 oz dates, chopped
⅔ cup boiling water
1½ tbsp boiling orange juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond flavouring
1⅔ cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Scant 1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 cup cold butter
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 9” square pan with parchment paper.
In saucepan, combine dates, boiling water and orange juice, and brown sugar. Let stand 15 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, bring date mixture to a boil and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes. If mixture thickens too fast, add a couple of tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and almond flavouring. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, soda, salt, and grated orange rind.
Cut, or grate, in the cold butter until mixture becomes coarse crumbs.
Press between a scant ⅔ of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the slightly cooled date mixture over crumb base. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over date filling.
Bake until crumbs are golden, about 30 – 35 minutes.
Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and cut into squares.
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