Teresa’s Bake Shop – Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2013
Date Squares are so, so delicious! This has been one of those recipes our family has enjoyed for years. I’ve also made multiple times for our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza over the years. A luscious date filling is sandwiched between a wonderful oatmeal streusel crust and topping. These tasty treats are rich, sweet and sensational! If you enjoy dates, you’ll absolutely adore Date Squares.
Years ago, one of our friends made this for a dinner we were invited to. I just loved the recipe. I can eat several of these in one sitting they are that good! Before trying one of these Date Squares in the early 1980s, I’d never eaten dates before. Seriously. I realized then that I love dates. I’ve baked many a bread, muffin or cookie with dates in them ever since.
If you’re looking for a lovely Christmas cookie to make for holiday baking, Date Squares are wonderful. You, your family, and all your company will love these little jewels. On top of that, these are one of the more economical cookies you will ever make. We love these traditional, holiday cookie/bars and believe you will too. I’m drooling all over again!
Don’t Date Squares look marvelous?
Date Squares are one of our favorite holiday baking recipes.
Date Squares are great for office parties or gifts for friends at this time of year. These rich fruit-filled cookie/bars are so scrumptious.
Here’s what I did.
Place dates in a saucepan. Add water.
I made eight 9×13″ pans which is sixteen times the original recipe. So don’t be alarmed at how many ingredients are in these pictures.
Add sugar and vanilla.
Bring to a boil and then lower heat and boil until thick. This usually takes about 5-10 minutes. Here the date mixture has softened. You can mash the dates down a little bit with a potato masher while cooking which speeds up the process a little. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, place softened butter, brown sugar, Crisco shortening, and UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour. Bleached flour toughens baked goods. Add baking soda and oatmeal.
Cut in butter with a pastry blender.
Press half of the oatmeal mixture into a greased or sprayed 8×8″ baking pan. (I doubled the recipe for a 9×13″ baking pan).
Spread date mixture over top of the oatmeal leaving about a 1/4 inch border. (This will prevent the date mixture from sticking to the pan when you’re ready to remove the bars from the pan).
Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over top of the dates.
Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. When I double the recipe and make this in a 9×13″ pan it takes about 25-30 minutes to bake–almost the same amount of time as when I use a smaller pan.
Here’s a close up of the Date Squares so you can see the texture of the bars. I put these in the freezer for an hour or so before I cut them so the bars weren’t quite as gooey when I was cutting them.
Date Squares are quite economical and not near as expensive as many cookie recipes are. Take a tray of these Christmas cookies to any holiday party and they will be gobbled up in short order.
Date Squares are such a sensational recipe to make for the holidays. Even people who don’t normally eat or like dates, love this recipe.
Here’s the recipe.
- 1 cup dates (cut in pieces)
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¼ cup Crisco shortening
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup Gold Medal UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 ½ cups Quaker oatmeal
- Cook dates, water, sugar and vanilla until soft.
- Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly.
- Line bottom of greased 8×8” pan with ½ the crumbly mixture.
- Gently spread date filling on top.
- Spread filling to about 1/8” from the edge, otherwise it will be hard to remove from pan because the filling adheres to the pan.
- Top with remaining flour mixture and bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Cut into bars when cool.
These lovely cookies are a great recipe for Christmas Cookie Exchanges because they’re not very expensive to make.
Here’s a side view so you can see the date filling in the middle of the bar. We love Date Squares and believe you will too.