Aunt Pearl’s Date Squares



Another of the recipes from my grandmother’s notebook – this one is credited to my Aunt Pearl, Nana’s sister. Aunt Pearl lived in Aroostook County, Maine – that’s about as far North as you can get! I have many happy memories of visiting her and waking up to donuts frying, or the smell of bread baking. It was heavenly, she made it look effortless, Aunt Pearl was definitely one of my early inspirations to learn how to bake.


Aunt Pearl



  • 2 – 8 ounce packages of chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup water

1. Add all ingredients into a saucepan, and let simmer over medium heat until thickened – about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool a bit.


  • 1 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine butter/shortening and brown sugar until well incorporated.

2. In a separate, smaller bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter/sugar mixture, then mix in the oatmeal.

3. Grease an 8″x 8″ pan, spoon half of the oatmeal mixture in the pan and press down with fingers to form a crust. Pour in cooled date mixture over crust, using a spatula to even out.

4. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top, and lightly press down with fingers or a spoon. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting.

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