Sometimes you just want a simple sweet treat, and these date bars are the ultimate easy to make fix for those cravings! The crisp and buttery topping combined with the sweet filling makes these absolutely scrumptious.
I love this classic date bars recipe and I’ve been making it for the family ever since it was passed down to me from my grandmother.
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Date Bars are also called Matrimonial Squares
These date bars are a popular Christmas dessert in Canada, specifically on the prairies, but are also known by another name, Matrimonial Squares! This is due to the two layers coming together – an interesting name for sure, but regardless of what you call them, they are absolutely a must try and truly are delicious.
How to Make Date Bars
- Combine the filling ingredients in a pot and start simmering, stirring often until you have a smooth mixture (See recipe card below for measurements).
- Combine the sugar and butter to start the base and topping.
- Add in the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Press most of the crust mix into the bottom of a 9×9 pan but save some for the topping.
- Pour the filling and spread it evenly.
- Crumble the topping evenly across the filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees F until well browned on top, then cool and cut into pieces to make your date bars!
I recommend using pre-chopped dates that are sold in a block, they are often easier than having to chop them yourself and is cheaper to purchase.
Date bars are easy to make gluten-free!
You’ll need to check that the oats that you’re using aren’t processed in a cross-contamination facility. If you want a gluten-free version of these bars, make sure that you specifically look for gluten-free flour and use it instead of the all-purpose.
Storing or Freezing Date Bars
These date bars are best kept in a Rubbermaid or similar container to ensure they don’t become stale. If you wish, they freeze beautifully as well.
I recommend separating each layer with wax paper to ensure they don’t freeze together. Suppose you plan to store them for an extended period in the freezer. In that case, I’d suggest flash freezing the entire block of squares on a baking sheet, then package them using a vacuum sealer (this keeps them very fresh) but if you are only planning on pre-baking for Christmas, a standard resealable plastic bag (Ziploc or otherwise) is fine as well, just make sure to remove any air before sealing the bag for extra freshness!
I hope you enjoy them; they are the perfect bar for any occasion but, around our house, are a regular treat whenever we want something simple and sweet for dessert.
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- one 375 gram package dates chopped up
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- Combine the ingredients for the filling into a small pot and start simmering over medium heat,, stirring often. You want to dissolve the dates and cook until it's a smooth mixture with very few lumps. Once this is finished remove from the heat and set aside.
- Start the base and topping. Combine the sugar and butter together until creamy and combined thoroughly.
- Add in the oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix together completely.
- Press 2/3 of the crust mix into the bottom of a 9×9 pan, saving some for the topping.
- Pour the filling on top of the bottom crust and spread it around evenly.
- Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture as a topping evenly across the filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees until it’s beautifully browned on top.
- Cool it and then cut into pieces.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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