I will never forget the first time I tasted date squares.  I was still in public school.    My best friend’s Mom was an excellent cook and baker.   One day after-school she served us a treat that  had me over the moon.  A sweet square that looked a little crumbly around the edges .  One bite and I was swooning over a rich, buttery, caramel enhanced oat crumb with an intensely exotic filling of dark, sweet dates.  She called these magical morsels matrimonial squares.   Even the name was wonderful.  Matrimonial squares.  Were these a special creation for weddings?  Or did they bring about marriage?

Date squares (matrimonial squares) were my first introduction to baking squares.  None of my cookbooks had a section for “squares”.    My cookbooks were published in the thirties and early forties and were all that was available.    I had started baking around l945.  I asked for the recipe and these many years later I  am still baking Mrs. Rybka’s Matrimonial Squares.

This old fashion square is a treat any time of day.  Date Squares are perfect with morning coffee (think of all those healthy rolled oats).  A sublime dessert lavished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  They are calling you name from MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen.



    • Janet, e very day we are bombarded with recipes; Magazines, television, blogs and recipe books. I love revisiting my old recipe files and books and rediscovering these old favorites. It has been years since I made date squares and now I’ve made them twice in the last month. Cheers Virgiunia

  1. My mother made some sort of similar”squares” as I remember but I have no recipe. These would certainly make a man fall in love! Dates and oats – a great combination. I had been reading blogs in my Reader and was getting ready to shut down and call it a night when you post popped up so I had to check it out. So glad I did instead of waiting until tomorrow when it would arrive in my e-mail.

    • Jo Nell date squares are so wonderful old fashioned and I treasure this recipe. It was the beginning of my journey into other people’s kitchen and collecting their recipes. XXOO Virginia

  2. OH. SIGH. Oh, my! I love your shot of the towering date squares, Virginia. The pitcher, too. Does it have a story? Perhaps I’ll give the recipe a shot over the weekend. Be there or be square . . .
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • A happy week-end to you, dear Theadora! Yes.. there is a story. When my son came back from attending university in France he managed an upscale very very Italian coffee house. ALL the dishes were these gorgeous Italian pottery. I was quite enamored with the dragon design. The pitcher was a birthday gift from my son and it resides permanently on my kitchen counter. Bon Appetit XXOo Virginia

  3. I can’t wait to try these…..I also have a childhood memory of my first experience with dates: our neighbor across the street was a stay-at-home mom and a great baker. One day when I was 9 years old, she baked some date pinwheel cookies….I had never seen or heard of anything like them and I literally SWOONED over them. The memory has stayed with me all these years and I still salivate at the thought. Thank you for sharing these squares!

    • Hi Vickie. There is something about dates … so exotic tasting that captures ones memories and you just never forget that first taste. ANYTHING made with dates I adore, and absolutely pinwheel cookies. I think I shall depart to the kitchen and take your inspiration and whip up those wonderful cookies. Bon Appetit, Virginia

  4. I adore date squares. An old boyfriend’s mother taught me years ago, and I still make them! I’ve never heard the term Matrimonial Squares before. Very interesting. Virginia! xoxo

    • Ah … an old boyfriend’s mother! She knew a good thing when she introduced you to date squares. I love love love anything made with dates. I could count the ways and they would fill a page. XXOo Virginia

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