These squares consist of a sweet date filling sandwiched between two layers of a crumbly oatmeal crust. In the prairie provinces they’re often called “Matrimonial Squares.”

Yield: Makes 48.



  • 2 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups salted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. To prepare crumb mixture, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  3. Using medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Stir in oat mixture until combined. Reserve half of crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper that overhangs by 2 inches; set aside.
  4. To prepare filling, combine dates, water and sugar in a medium non-reactive saucepan; cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until dates have broken down and mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently spread filling over crumb mixture in pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over filling; pat gently so that crumb mixture adheres.
  5. Bake until square is light golden, about 25 - 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Using parchment paper as an aid, lift square from pan. Cut into squares. Store, layered with parchment paper, in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week. May be frozen for up to 2 months.
Nutritional analysis per square:

163 calories, 5.3 g fat, 1.9 g protein, 28.6 g carbohydrate, 1.9 g fibre, 105 mg sodium