Monday, October 20, 2014

Date Squares revisited

Thanksgiving came and went - thankfully with no real impact to my waistline! It was a good day and evening.  We made the Turkey, vegetables, stuffing etc at my sisters house and then took it over to my moms to enjoy. It might seem like extra work, but it really did minimize any cleanup that had to be done at my mom's house and we spent our time visiting instead of slaving over dirty dishes.

A while ago I made Date Squares from the 1938 Five Roses Flour Cookbook and having no real creative motivation last week...I think I was still in a Turkey coma :)  I decided to remake the date squares using the updated Five Roses Flour recipe, plus I still had leftover dates and no real ideas on what to do with them...and I got a wee bit obsessed on crocheting headbands!

The recipes are pretty much the same with a few modifications that seem to make sense, like the removal of the baking powder and baking soda. I didn't really notice a difference in how they cooked up.

What I did notice was that the date mixture seemed drier and I had to add more water to get it to cook enough to be mushy, and...the newer recipe mentions

"Cook over medium heat until dates are soft and water is absorbed. Add vanilla and let cool."

But no where in the recipe does it mention vanilla as an ingredient, so I didn't add it in.

In the newer cookbook they have the Orange Date filling as a variation of the basic one, so I included both below. I chose the Orange Date filling to make since it more closely resembled the 1938 recipe.

Out of both recipes, I think I prefer the newer variation better. It just seemed more substantial and the bars were less thin. I guess it depends on if you like a thicker date middle, but flavourwise, I don't think there was much difference at all. 

Date Shortbread (Matrimony Cake)
Five Roses Flour Cook Book - 1970? (page 122)


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4  1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2  cups old fashioned oatmeal

  • 500 g pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup hotwater
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Combine dry ingredients together
  2. Rub in butter with the tips of your fingers
  3. Spread half the mixture in a greased shallow pan (about 8 X 14 inches) and pat to make smooth.
  4. Cover with cooled Date Filling, spreading it evenly, then cover with remaining crumbs, pat to make smooth.
  5. Bake at 375F for 30 - 35 minutes.
  6. Increase heat slightly and bake for a few minutes longer to lightly brown the mixture.
  7. Cut in squares while warm and allow the shortbread to cool in the pan.

Orange Date Filling
Five Roses Flour Cook Book - 1970? (page 122)

  • 1/2 lb  1 lb chopped dates (500 g)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Grated rind of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tbsp 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Cook dates, water, orange rind, and sugar in a small saucepan, over a moderate heat until thick and smooth
  2. Remove from heat and let cool

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