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Whole Wheat Date Bars

I generally have a brick of chopped dates in my pantry and don't mind having a date bar tucked in the refrigerator to go with a cup of tea in the afternoon.   Date bars store well and can be wrapped individually and frozen for lunches.
Using whole wheat flour and large flake oatmeal makes this homemade oldie but goodie a healthy choice.

  • 375 gram package or up to 1 pound dates, chopped  (about 3 cups cut up)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Combine chopped dates and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Simmer gently until thickened, about 10 - 15 minutes.  Alternately, put the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  2. Add lemon juice, stir well and set aside.
Base and Topping Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup large flake oatmeal
  1. Prepare a  7 X 11 inch or 9 inch square pan by spraying with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream butter and sugars together well.  
  3. Add flour and baking soda and stir to combine.  Add the oatmeal and use your hands to blend the ingredients.
  4. Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the pan.  Press firmly.  Spread the date filling evenly over the base and sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Spread evenly and pat gently .
  5. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned.   Cool and cut into bars or squares.
  6. Keep covered in the refrigerator or freeze.


  1. One of my favourite treats, but I call them matrimonial squares. Thanks for this updated recipe.


  2. My mother's cookbook called them matrimonial bars, but we always called them date squares. Like your version, my mother never sweetened the date filling. And she always poured a little cream on the top before baking them. Thanks for this whole wheat version recipe. ;-)

  3. Went out immediately today to bulk warehouse and bought the large flakes and dates -everything else I had on hand. Soooo good while still warm-a tad sweet -I might try less sugar next time. Texture great with whole wheat flour. Sharing with a neighbour tomorrow who just underwent radiation for thyroid cancer. I am sure they will be as much part of the therapy as shared coffee between friends. Thanks for posting...I was wanting an excuse to bake today...

  4. Can I use regular size oatmeal flakes?? I love in Paraguay, can´t really get the large size here, that´s why I´m asking :)


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