Gramma's Date Squares
A date filled bar with a chewy oatmeal crust. This is my grandmother's recipe, which my whole family loves.
A date filled bar with a chewy oatmeal crust. This is my grandmother's recipe, which my whole family loves.
Update: baking the bottom layer before adding the dates/top layer works nicely! These were great as is. Moist, flavorful, and easy. I might bake the bottom layer of crust for 5-10 minutes next time to firm it up a bit, but other than that, yum!Read More
We didn't care for these even though we love dates. There was WAY too much crumb mixture. I could have used half for the crust and the crumb top. The filling was boring and the whole bar was very crumbly. I was going to throw them out, but my husband said that he would eat them if he go desperate. Sorry....Read More
Update: baking the bottom layer before adding the dates/top layer works nicely! These were great as is. Moist, flavorful, and easy. I might bake the bottom layer of crust for 5-10 minutes next time to firm it up a bit, but other than that, yum!
Great recipe just as its written!...just thought i would suggest cutting dates with scissors rather than trying to chop the sticky things. My mom kept kitchen scissors just for this job and it was my job as a lil girl to snip up the dates.
Just when I thought this recipe couldn't get any better, I made it with really fresh medjool dates instead of the dry store bought ones I normally use. It was absolutely incredible!! If you can use the fresh medjool dates, I highly recommend it!
The ingredients list says all-purpose flour, and the instructions say pastry flour, so I wasn't sure which to use! I ended up using all purpose, and they turned out ok. The second time I made this, I found that they were nicer with a little bit more of a filling and less of a "crust" (I just used 1 cup each of flour and rolled oats). Nice recipe, though!
These are great. I substituted 1/2 of the butter for applesauce, and leaving in that little bit of butter left them crunchy yet lower in fat. I also left out the sugar in the date filling as they were plenty sweet on their own. This is somewhat unlike other date square recipes as I found that the filling was soft and creamy (probably due to leaving out the sugar). Will make again.
Would give 5 stars but made too many changes ...NO salt, NO baking soda, NO sugar with dates (added vanilla extract instead of lemon juice), HALF the sugar in flour/oat mix AND MELTED THE BUTTER with part OIL to equal 1/2 cup and it held together beautifully. YUM.
These are to die for, but omit the 1/3 c. brown sugar...dates are sugary sweet anyway; the extra sugar would be overpowering. These are addictive!
Chopping the dates was the hardest part in this recipe, but it was worth it. The results were very good - rich and not-too-sweet, similar to the ones I enjoy from Starbucks. I translated 3/4 pounds of dates to around 2 cups, and added chopped pecans on top of the crust. Mine didn't hold together all that well, but great eaten with a spoon and a cup of tea.
These are really good, almost like my Grama used to make. I only gave it 4stars because It needs a couple changes. Next time I will double the date filling (no sugar to the dates, they are sweet enough on their own) And double the pan size. I found these had too much crust for my taste, so instead of down sizing the crust I will up the filling and make a larger pan, because let's face it, you will always want more. Update: I wanted to make a healthy batch for myself, so I used Splenda brown sugar blend, and it worked fantastic. I also subbed 1/2 the butter for applesauce, now I should really know better, usually anything with this type of crust you shouldn't use applesauce, but there were reviews stating they used applesauce and they loved it. NO!!! Do not use apple sauce, the crust is completely nasty then, it is too chewy and just wrong. Some times you just can't give up the bad butter that makes everything taste so good, and this is one of those times.
Very similar to a recipe from my Mom. If you like really sweet date squares, add the brown sugar to the dates, otherwise, leave it out as they are naturally sweet on their own. Don't bother dicing dates - put them in the saucepan and cook a little longer if needed but they soften up nicely and it saves a whole lot of time. You might need to add a touch more water and watch them that they don't burn. Only other comment is that I add in a bit more oats and mix the crumble by hands till you get your preferred consistency. The crumble made according to recipe is a bit buttery so I added about an additional 1/2 cup of oats. Very good and thanks. I had to make it as soon as I saw the recipe pop up on the "daily".
Oh my goodness these were amazing. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. This will be a regular thing in my house. After I cut the squares I froze them and micro'd them when I was in the mood for a treat. They heat well in the micro.
Date squares are one of my favorites and this is the first time I attempted to make them. Somehow I always thought dates would be too hard to work with to have any kind of success. I read alot of the reviews and incorporated many of the suggestions into my personal preference. I don't care for too much base or topping, so I had extra left over; I just froze it for my next batch. The suggestion to bake the base for 15 min before adding the filling was the best idea!! The sweetness to the filling is just as I like and I added vanilla for good measure. These are even better the next day once the flavors have blended together. Thanks for this great recipe Michelle.
I make this every week for my children to have as muesli bars. There would be a riot if I did not. the recipie is fine as is, however I routinely make the following alterations and its sublime 1. Add 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, 1 cup coconut flakes and 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds to the crumble. Cut the sugar in the crumble by half (or double everything in the recipe but the sugar) 2. Add butter until the crumble is 'Crumbly' then divide your mixture in half. Add an egg-white (or two) to the half you will use as a base then if required more butter to make it 'mushy' bake this for 10-20 minutes until golden, this ensures your bars will never fall apart. 3. The date mix can be substituted for any dried fruit, I have also found I can mix canned fruit and dried fruit, and even fresh fruit and jam. As long as I have a wet but not runny spreadable consistency. The children beg for pear and raspberry, apricot and ginger, date and sultana, and love hunting the market for new flavor combinations. I tend to cut the sugar in the fruit layer as much as possible. I always saucepan cook it until I have a nice tasting mixture with the right consistency. 4. After spreading with the crumble and re baking I let them cool and then cut them into muesli bar size slices and store in the freezer for the children to take and put in their daily lunchboxes. They tell me they could make a fortune on selling them, but they don't care to give them up.
This recipe helped me recreate a comforting memory of my own grandmother's date squares. I made only one minor adjustment, and that was a dash of vanilla extract (I went overboard) into the dates as I stewed them. They created a very gooey and rich bar, which may be too decadent for some tastes. Next time I try this I'll elect to use slightly less sugar, but otherwise this is a very simple and delicious recipe that any novice baker could easily take on. I am very happy with how they came out. NOTE ABOUT DATES: I had to pit my own dates, and I discovered a few had some sort of insect eggs and even a dead bug inside them and had to be discarded. It's not uncommon to find a few in a batch that have been infiltrated by pests, so BE SURE TO CHECK BEFORE YOU DICE.
We didn't care for these even though we love dates. There was WAY too much crumb mixture. I could have used half for the crust and the crumb top. The filling was boring and the whole bar was very crumbly. I was going to throw them out, but my husband said that he would eat them if he go desperate. Sorry....
these are the dates squares i was looking for soo bad!! finally i found them!! yey!! they are sooo prfect!! i agree, DO NOT add sugar to the dates, they are too sweet! the only changes i did were, first, i divided sugar into 3/4 splenda (white original splenda) and 1/4 brown sugar they came out perfectly! also instead of 2 teaspoons of lemon juice i divided it into 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp vanilla! they are sooo deliciouslyy addictive! i totaly recommend it and i will be doing this recipie over and over again!!! 10 stars!!! I used all purpose flower, it works perfectly too! because my pan was a little bit larger i had to make more crust, i wont agree to the reviewer who said more filling would be better, i think the amount of filling is perfect for the amount of crust! they held soo perfect! i just loved this recipe.
yes 10 stars indeed. although I did use cranberries and followed the advice of other reviews for the crispier crust. These bars only lasted a day and a half in our house, it is like something from Starbucks.
These are AWESOME! I wanted to make a healthier version so I substituted the pastry flour for whole wheat, and halved the sugar in the crust, completely left it out of the filling (dates are sweet anyway) and used 1 cup applesauce instead of butter. Also I only used 8 ounces of dates because that's all I had on hand and just squeezed half a lemon into the filling mixture. I added maybe a tablespoon of kairo syrup to the filling, to help it thicken. I don't know if it would have tasted better if I hadn't altered the recipe, but these tasted amazing the way I made them!! And they were super duper easy.
Very good recipe. I doubled the recipe and it turned out great, use a very large pan or you will end up with rearly thick squares.
Fantastic! I too baked the crust. I baked it too long. I would suggest only 5 or 10 minutes. Instead of lemon I use vanilla....love it best that way.
Great Recipe. Made as listed. Just the right amount of sweet. Next time I will use a 9 x 13 so the crust will be thinner and more like store bought texture, but would not change the flavor one bit.
I got this recipe for the crust. Not a fan of dates squares but I put chocolate chips and caramel in the middle instead of dates. SOOOO yummy. Used to make it at a coffee shop. the crust gets 5 stars!!
Absolutely delicious! Changes I made based on reviews and personal preference: 1) For the 3/4 C butter, I used 1/4 C butter, 1/4 C coconut oil and 1/4 C applesauce. I melted before adding to my dry mix. . 2) Used whole wheat flour, worked great. . 3) Halved the sugar in the crust and omitted it entirely from the dates. Can't imagine adding it--would be WAY too sweet. . 4) Added some cloves, cinnamon and allspice to the date mix, which gave a spicy Fall flavor. May leave them out next time as it masked the date flavor. . 5) Precooked the bottom crust for 15 min, no problems with mine falling apart. . Thanks for such a lovely recipe!
Real winner in my household. Instead of dicing the dates, went ahead and cooked them, then gently processed with an immersion blender (the wand ones), until a thick, slightly chunky puree. Was easy and spread nicely in the pan. May be able to use a standard blender or food processor.
I did as one reviewer suggested and only used 1 cup of oats and flour and this turned out FAHBULOUS! If you really pat the topping down into the pan, I found it held together fine. So good. I just LOVE date bars, and this was my first attempt at making them. Delicious!
These are sooo good! Ive made them twice. The first time I added the 1/3 cup of sugar to the dates but the 2nd time I didn't. Couldnt tell the difference and I dont think any one else could either! The only thing is they didn't turn out like the picture the top on mine isn't as nice the oats fall off and it isnt too browned. any one have advice?
Really enjoyed this simple recipe. Followed Lorrie recommendation and worked out perfect. I used date paste Majool that I seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon. No sugar added to date mix. Be sure to add cinnamon to the oat/flour mix. Oh and Allpurpose flour works fine.
In Canada, we have a Bulk Barn, where you can find chopped dates. You can buy just what you need and no extra work.
I found this recipe about a year ago and have made it at least 25 times. It is absolutely wonderful and has a good fiber content. The only thing I do differently is that I don't add any additional sugar to the date filling as the dates are sweet enough. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!
I've prepared this recipe 6 times and used the the exact ingredients every time. I wouldn't change a thing. My wife tells me her mother use to make them and they were not as mushy. I'm sure this is not a complaint though. I have trouble keeping some for me. She eats most of them and gives some to her co-workers bragging my ability. GREAT RECIPE it's a keeper.
Great recipe! I used 1/ 1/4 cups flour and oats; 3/4 cup brown sugar instead of 1 cup, also used OJ instead of water and eliminated lemon juice.
I liked the flavor and texture of these, but I found there was WAY too much crust/crumb mix. Instead of having these as nice finger desserts, they will have to be served in a bowl b/c they are very thick and huge. Next time I will make them in a 9x13 so they turn out smaller.
OMG these are great and i changed 2 things I didn't add any sugar to the dates I also pre-baked the first layer so that it wouldn't crumble as much. Love it thank you so much for sharing.
Made these for my parents and they LOVED them. I used vanilla instead of lemon juice. I actually goofed on the recipe and used 1 cup of butter so to make up for it I added 1/2 cup extra rolled oats. They couldn't tell so why should I? ;) If you like date squares then use this recipe.
I found the top to be a bit dry for my liking, but the rest was perfect. Thank you!
I felt there was too much sugar in the crumble for my taste. Will make this recipe again but will cut the sugar in the crumble by a third or half.
Very, very good. I used whole medjool dates that I pitted and diced and used spelt flour in place of pastry flour. I also used both lemon juice and vanilla in the dates. My mom and I used to make these from a boxed mix when I was a kid, and we loved them. These are even better than what I remember. Thanks for bringing back the memories!
Good recipe! I did make a few changes. Halved sugar in crumble and none in dates. And I used coffee instead of water to make the filling. I found the crumble very dry, next time I will melt the butter first or use a little extra. i had quick-cooking oats which I think made it drier so no fault to your recipe!
The combination and quanities makes this recipe "just like mom's", but the pan size is too small. There is too much crust for a 9" square pan. The crust just falls apart. A 9 1/2" X 13 1/2" is a better size.
I have made this recipe a few times in the past - but I should make it more. It's a winner and my husband LOVES them. I do make some changes as suggested in the reviews. 1 cup of orange juice instead of water, 1 tsp. lemon juice and dates cuts up with scissors (much easier this way). I did NOT add brown sugar to the date mixture either - like many reviews explained, dates are naturally sweet! I did not use pastry flour as I did not have any - regular flour worked just as good. I do not even know what the difference is? Melted 3/4 cup butter and added this to the oat / flour / brown sugar dry mixture. Either combine with your fingers or a wooden spoon. Baked the bottom part of the dry mixture in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, then added the date mixture, spreading evenly. Finished off with the rest of the dry crumbly, buttery mixture on the top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 mins, let cool, cut and serve. It's excellent, they are sooooooooooooooooo (groan...Mmm ... oooOOOAAAOOOooo) mouth- wateringly delicious.
This is an excellent recipe! I replace the water with oj! So delicious!! Thanks for sharing the recipe Michelle! This one is a keeper! YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These were pretty good. Not the best date squares I have ever had, but not bad either. Chopping the dates is somewhat time consuming, but the rest of the recipe is very little work. I would make these again as part of a dessert tray. Thanks!
absolutely delicious! Other than chopping up sticky dates, this was the easiest recipe and was extremely tasty!! I tried baking the bottom layer of "crumble" first and i did help make a more solid crust.
I don't eat date squares, but I sell them at a market and I had so many compliments on these that I threw out any other date square recipes.
These were excellent and easy to prepare. I was surprised at how easy it was to make the date filling. I didn't add sugar to it as other reviewers suggested, and thank goodness; they were just perfect. This recipe is versatile where the date filling could be substituted for a different fruit mix like dried apricots, or something similar.
Did not turn out well.
Tried this recipe today. They turned out great! As a few other reviews mentioned the sugar in the dates, I did not add it either. If you have a very sweet tooth, by all means add it. I only had an 8x8 pan so I had to bake them about 30 minutes but really enjoyed the result. If they start to get browner than you like, just place a piece of foil over them to slow/stop the browning. I would recommend this to anyone,
This is the best data square recipe I have ever found. As others, I eliminated the sugar in the dates. I also used melted butter - took some of the work out of mixing. Fast and easy to prepare.
TIP: After cooking dates whiz them with a hand-held, electric, blade chopper for excellent consistency.
This is a delicious recipe! I've never made date slice before and this was a great one for me to experiment with. I made a few adjustments as I went along.. - added 1/2 Cup of dessicated coconut to the base mixture. - only used 1 dessert spoon of brown sugar in the filling and added 1/2 cup of chopped dried apricots. I also added lemon zest to the filling mixture as well as the juice. - I crumbled the mixture on top so it didn't cover the filling as a whole, and added chopped walnuts and coconut to this mix too. I'll definitely be making this again - it was a hit with the flatmates :-)
Wonderful! I love this recipe! They taste better then I remember as a child.
Mine came out a little bit dry, but that's because I used less butter and also mixed with apple sauce. But it was still delicious! Used 9" square pan and they only lasted 1 day. I added no extra sugar for the date mixture and added 1 t of vanilla. I will try again with orange zest, etc.
I made a batch of these for my mom because she loves date squares. They were FANTASTIC!! The whole family thinks they're a big hit. The only change I made was to add a 1/4 cup more butter to the crust, a suggestion by another rater. Try this one!!
I followed the recipe exactly, it turned out wonderful, I ended up making two smaller pans lined with parchment paper (disposable tins, easier to take places if need be) I got the best praise ever.. the words we all want to hear "Wow better than Mom's!" lol thank you!!
I also did not use sugar with the dates. I used apple sauce, butter & coconut oil. It seems to hold the oats together(coconut oil). I also baked the bottom layer first. Thank-you very much for the basics, I just added my own touch.
The most delish things I've ever eatten! Kid approved too.
First time making date squares and this recipe was true to the title and tasted just like Grandma's. Super easy to follow, and oh so yummy!
This was an excellent recipe with just a few changes taken from previous reviews! I used melted butter in the crust and baked the bottom before adding the filling. I did not use brown sugar in the filling. Really really good! I love the crunch you get from using the melted butter. This is definitely a keeper!
These should be called Amazing Squares. They are excellent, very delicate and rich in flavor. The only thing I would recommend is, after heating the dates I pureed them when they cooled and then spread them on the base. This is the only date squares I make now, it is a keeper. Thanks for the recipe!!
This is a fabulous recipe! Exactly what I was looking for. The squares set nicely and held together. As per some reviews, I packed down the crust very well and baked the crust for 6 mins - while the dates were cooking. I also didn't add the sugar to the dates because the dates I bought were "honey dates" and quite sweet as they are. I packed down the topping, too, the best I could, and the result was great!
Best Date Squares recipe. Its a keeper!
There are so many issues with this recipe that I couldn't give it a good review. First off, it doesn't say that you should use parchment paper on the bottom. Secondly, it doesn't say to let the date mixture cool before filling it on to the first layer. Thirdly, it doesn't say to cooked the bottom layer for 10 minutes first, but you need to. Fourthly, it doesn't say to put the date mixture in a food processor to chop up that irritating date skin, but it does help quit a bit and improves the texture.
Sooo delicious and I especially loved the crust. So moist and melts in your mouth. I reduced the sweetness by using only 3/4 cup brown sugar for crust and 1/4 cup in the filling and was still super sweet. Next time I may halve the sugar.
Absolutely delicious! I did follow other's suggestion of reducing the sugar in half and it turned out perfectly. This is definitely going to be my go-to date square recipe. Thanks :D
Delicious! Crumbly, buttery goodness! I sliced guava filling in the middle instead of the dates and they turned out wonderful. This recipe with be a staple in my kitchen.
Really tasty, but a little too sweet. Next time I'd reduce, or possibly eliminate the sugar in the filling.
yummy add more butter
So good! I must have done something wrong because the topping was very crumbly. As others suggested, I added cinnamon to the crust.
my dad is coming for new years! one of his favorite treats my mom used to make was date squares. i just made them for the first time using this recipe......yummmmm very easy and very tasty
Great recipe, I used all purpose flour, and it tasted great. I used chopped dates bought from the bulk store. They worked out just fine. No messy prep. Worth the little extra cost, with no change in taste.
yummy, just like I remembered them back in school!
I added a full cup of butter as Lorrie suggested and baked the base for 15 minutes before adding the date filling. They cut well and taste great! If you like dates you should try this recipe. Thanks Michelle for posting this great recipe.
These are so delicious and really easy to make, unlike some viewers thought. The only extra work is chopping the dates, so how hard could that be! I baked them in a 8X8 in. Pyrex pan. Everyone loved them! Next time, I will try them with orange juice instead, including the zest, cuz my mom said they would be even better. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe, it was awesome!
I didn't add extra sugar or lemon to the dates and it was just fine. I really pressed the top layer down firmly and it held together well and was easy to cut into squares.
I baked these up with some changes. I added pecans and took the tip from Lorrie about baking the bottom crust in the oven for 15 minutes. (I actually baked mine about 17 minutes.) I pulsed my flour, oats, pecans and other dry ingredients in a food processor with chilled butter. ( I didn't read Lorrie's tip of softening butter until this step was complete but the bottom turned out perfectly solid). I wish I would have skipped adding the brown sugar to the dates! They don't need sugar and I do think it diminishes the dates' flavor profile. Next time I will increase the dates to one pound. I added vanilla to my dates after cooking. I did microwave my remaining oat mixture a little bit to soften the butter before adding to the pan. All in all, we liked the finished product.
Sensational! I used the tips that others spoke of, particularly the one about the butter being mushy and sort of melted. A pastry chef friend of mine has asked me to make her a batch!!!!
Awesome. We tried putting it in a larger pan as some suggested and found the crust too thin. I wouldn't change a thing!
Very good. I prefer recipes that use more oatmeal than flour, but they make a messy square, where this recipe is better for serving. Could use less sugar in dates.
These were very good. Although after reading the reviews I took the advice of using less sugar. I doubled the recipe, filling a 9x11 pan, and only added 1 c of brown sugar to the crust. The date filling turned out sweet enough without the br sug. I'll be making these again and again!
Great texture and flavour! For anyone with some Mincemeat-Raisin pie mixture left over in the jar/fridge...use it instead of the dates or with them to the same measures. Cheers!
oatmeal, brown sugar and butter are my baking trifecta so this recipe did not disappoint. I did increase the butter from 3/4 c to 1 full cup and added only a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to the date filling as extra sweetening is not needed.
Although my husband said these date squares didn't come close to his grandmother's, my co-workers gave them two thumbs up. Next time I will follow some of the other suggestions and use a larger pan to make thinner squares as well as use oj in place of the water and see if the ole' hubby likes them any better!
Wonderful! I cooked the dates in the microwave and they came out lovely.I also added a hint of nutmeg, and allspice, cinnamon to the date mixture. This recipe is a real keeper!!
I made these with a gluten-free flour mix and they were amazing! The almond extract made them just perfect. Yummy!
Yummmy!!!!!! The only thing I did differently was to omit some of the brown sugar. I didn't add any sugar to the date mix, and only used 1/2 cup sugar in the flour mix. It came out delicious! Next time I just go by the advice of some of the other reviewers and use some applesauce to replace some of the butter, and maybe even omit the brown sugar altogether (or maybe just 1/4 cup or so) Very delicious. Will make again!! A+
Liked the "hint" of almond that was suggested.
Good recipe, but too sugary. I didn't add any brown sugar into the date mixture and next time I make it I'll use 1/2 of brown sugar in the dough mixture.
I haven't try this recipe yet, but I have a recipe almost exactly like this, also from my grandmother! It's really interesting to see a similar recipe. The recipe from my grandmother is more plain, with no spices. And, we use ghee, instead of butter. There would be a good taste of salt in the oat layer, so that it balances the sweetness from the dates layer. The ladies in my family have been making these for years, and everyone loves them!
THESE WERE AWESOME! My mom used to make these as I was growing up and she's not sure where her recipe is. This is very close to the ones she made. My daughter even asks me to make them :) I also omitted the brown sugar out of the date filling and it was yummy. Thanks for sharing!
These are just like my Gram's!! I never got the recipe from her before she died. This is perfect! Thank you!
Just one word: delicious I also followed someone's suggestion and used orange juice instead of the water. I reduced the amount of flour and oats. They came out perfect!
Everyone LOVES these! I've had more people than I can count ask me for the recipe or compliment me on them. I have adjusted it by adding more brown sugar to the filling just to make it a bit sweeter. But definitely a winner!
The kids ask for these weekly. I separate the bottom layer into another bowl and add a little more butter then prss it down hard for a stronger bottom crust.
Out of nostalgia I made this recipe for myself not expecting the boys (11,14, 16) to like them. To my surprise they not only liked them they loved them and the entire pan of goodies disappeared in no time. Enjoy I did !!
Very good! Like another commenter I used a full cup of butter, did not add sugar to the date mix, and baked the bottom layer for about 5 minutes before completing the squares. These turned out so good!