Newfoundland Date Squares are a traditional Newfoundland treat! Slightly sweet, with a crumbly topping, and a soft, chewy center, perfect for an afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea!
Date Squares and Newfoundland go hand in hand – that’s why these Newfoundland Date Squares are one of my favourite crumb-type squares. I have to tell you though, my memories of Date Squares are all wrong!
Have you ever had those moments when you are sure you remember something accurately and vividly, but then it turns out that you were wrong all the while? My memory played a vicious trick on me with dates.
My mom is not well and I thought it would be nice to bake some treats for her to bring along to our visit a few weekends back. One of the things I made was a Date Walnut Loaf. Well, I was casually speaking with her on the phone and I mentioned I had made the loaf and I was bringing it to her. She asked me not to do so, because – get this! – she can’t stand the taste of dates!!!
My childhood memories of my mom making Date Squares were obliterated! I swear, Dear Reader, I can remember the Date Squares she used to make and I was sure she loved to eat them just as much as I did. I guess I was wrong. Now I’m left wondering where the hell I got Date Squares from when I was a kid, because I know I ate a lot of them!
Half of the Date Walnut Loaf is still in the freezer. And the Date Squares are quickly disappearing. I packaged up a bunch to give to one of our favourite cat sitters, Louise, and the rest we’ve been eating ourselves. I even got McKenna to try one after she argued that she didn’t like dates. Well, she was wrong – she loved it! John.e is a fan of Date Squares, so I guess I can say I made them for him.
If you are the type to screw up your nose at Date Squares, I urge you to give them a try. These Date Squares a so moist, with just the right amount of sweet. I love the fact that the base of the square holds together quite firmly, while the crumb topping is exactly that – crumbly! The filling is quite rich and has a creamy consistency.
A Date Square with a hot coffee is just the type of afternoon treat I look forward to… in fact, I think that’s just what I’ll do right now. Why don’t you come and join me?
(This post was written prior to my mom’s passing in November. I’m just getting around to posting it now. In her memory, I’m leaving the post as is.)
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Newfoundland Date Squares
Ingredients for the date filling
- 2 1/4 cups pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla
- 2 cups boiling water
Ingredients for the base and crumb topping
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups butter
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and preparing a 9x13 inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan, add the filling ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture becomes very thick. Watch the mixture carefully as it will burn easily in the last few minutes of cooking time. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all of the crumble ingredients and use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture for form a crumbly topping.
- Press half of the crumb topping into the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Press firmly to form a solid base for the date mixture.
- Pour the date mixture over top and spread it out evenly.
- Next, evenly distribute the remaining crumb mixture over top, pressing very lightly to push the crumb mixture gently into the date mixture.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Allow the Date Squares to cool completely before cutting.
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