Many years ago a lady who liked the recipe for Grandma Rang’s Date Cookies asked if I had a good recipe for date squares. I emailed two of my sisters for help and my youngest sister, Pam, came through with the recipe. She said that it was from one of her cookbooks and that it made delicious date squares.
When you go to a church potluck or the coffee table between worship services you will often find bars like this. Mom made bars with oatmeal crusts and fruit fillings all the time. I think that dates make the best filling, but apricots are a close second. You might want to substitute dried apricots for the dates sometime just to compare the results.
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp, baking soda
1 lb. dates
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Chop the dates into a half inch dice and put them into a saucepan. Add the water and sugar and cook the dates over medium to low heat until the mixture is clear. Stir often to keep the mixture from scorching. Stir in the lemon juice and set the pan aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350º and butter an eight by twelve rectangular or nine-inch square baking pan.
Sift the flour, salt and soda together in a medium-sized bowl. Cream the sugar gradually into the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats and flour a quarter cup at a time to the creamed butter and sugar and mix well.
Press one half of the oat and flour dough in the bottom of the greased pan. Spread the date filling evenly over the bottom crust and cover it with the remaining dough. Bake for about twenty minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool a few minutes. Cut into squares while the pan is warm.
NOTE: Don’t even think of using oleo for these bars.