Oatmeal Bar Cookie Recipe with Dates and Nuts ~ Family Memories plus Photos

Oatmeal Date Nut Squares

Oatmeal Date Nut Squares
Oatmeal Date Nut Squares | Source

Family recipe

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my cousin Bill on the telephone. He lives in Peoria, Illinois and my husband and I live in Houston, Texas. When Bill and I were youngsters all living in the State of Wisconsin, we saw each other often during the year...in fact almost every or every other weekend all summer long and then at other times of the year as well.

My grandparents and parents lived in the countryside of Oconomowoc across the field from one another and later...even next door to one another.

My aunt and uncle and three cousins lived in Madison, Wisconsin at that time.

My dear grandparents had room enough in their home to put their daughter and family up when they came for visits and always enjoyed their visits.

My cousins and my brothers and I always had a great time playing together.

We rode bicycles; climbed trees; slid on boxes down into the nearby abandoned gravel pit; played jacks; hula hooped; had picnics; swam in the lake at my grandmother's house and did countless more things together as kids often do.

Bill and I talked about many things that day and among other topics he wondered if I had a copy of a cookie recipe that my grandmother had given to my mother and his mother. My mother died in 2010 and his mother is no longer able to bake cookies. Fortunately I remembered the delicious oatmeal bar cookie that he requested and decided to make it this year as a part of my homemade cookie assortment that we give away as gifts. It not only has oatmeal as a prime ingredient, but also dates and nuts.

This stirred some family memories and I will share some photos with you in addition to the cookie recipe and step by step instructions.


My maternal grandmother

My grandmother
My grandmother | Source

Family memories

My sweet maternal grandmother was not only a terrific seamstress and homemaker, but also a wonderful cook.

She canned produce from my grandfather's massive garden and threw dinner parties that drew rave reviews from their friends who often came from Milwaukee out into the countryside where my grandparents had retired.

When I was old enough she let me help her clean and get her house ready for those parties.

It was fun working alongside of my grandmother. My mother often kidded in later years that she never got the same assistance in cleaning at home. There it was a job! At Grandma's house...it was a different story. I am sure that other parents have had the same experience. Ha!

The pictures below show my mother and my Aunt Marge as young women. They learned how to cook by watching their mother (my grandmother) and assisting her when old enough.

They both became excellent cooks in their own right!

Photos of my mother and aunt

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sisters...these young ladies would become my mother (pictured on left) and my aunt.My mother as a young lady at the lake in Okauchee, Wisconsin.My aunt as a young lady at Okauchee lake.
Sisters...these young ladies would become my mother (pictured on left) and my aunt.
Sisters...these young ladies would become my mother (pictured on left) and my aunt. | Source
My mother as a young lady at the lake in Okauchee, Wisconsin.
My mother as a young lady at the lake in Okauchee, Wisconsin. | Source
My aunt as a young lady at Okauchee lake.
My aunt as a young lady at Okauchee lake. | Source

The photo below was taken in the backyard of my parents. My three cousins are on the left and my two brothers and me are on the right. My Dad had built the trellis and our playhouse...also built by my Dad is in the background.

My cousins and my 2 brothers both of whom are seated below me on the right.
My cousins and my 2 brothers both of whom are seated below me on the right. | Source

Cookie Jar

The Pioneer Woman Adeline Glass Cookie Jar,Turquoise | Stunning Glass Cookie Jar - Turquoise
The Pioneer Woman Adeline Glass Cookie Jar,Turquoise | Stunning Glass Cookie Jar - Turquoise

When we were growing up there was always a cookie jar filled with homemade cookies on the kitchen counter.

 

Cookie ingredients


This one is per your request, Bill, and here are the ingredients for this Oatmeal Date Nut Squares Cookie:

  • 1 3/4 cups oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup dates cut in small pieces (they now come prepackaged that way)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts


Directions:

Start by mixing the oatmeal, flour, packed cup of brown sugar, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

Mix the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together.
Mix the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together. | Source

Next step...

Cut in the chilled pieces of butter and use a blender to combine with the oatmeal / flour mixture until crumbly.

Set the mixture aside.

Cut in the chilled butter and blend into the oatmeal mixture.
Cut in the chilled butter and blend into the oatmeal mixture. | Source

Combine and boil the dates, white sugar and water together until thick. Take time to stir this mixture and keep an eye on it. It will become quite darkened in color during this process.

When completed, add the chopped nuts.

Dates, sugar and water caramelizing together

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dates, sugar and water combined in a pan and put on stove.Bring the mixture to a boil.Watch carefully and stir every so often as this mixture reduces and becomes thick.Stirring the mixture...Final product...the dates and sugar have gotten darker, thick and almost candy-like.
Dates, sugar and water combined in a pan and put on stove.
Dates, sugar and water combined in a pan and put on stove. | Source
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Bring the mixture to a boil. | Source
Watch carefully and stir every so often as this mixture reduces and becomes thick.
Watch carefully and stir every so often as this mixture reduces and becomes thick. | Source
Stirring the mixture...
Stirring the mixture... | Source
Final product...the dates and sugar have gotten darker, thick and almost candy-like.
Final product...the dates and sugar have gotten darker, thick and almost candy-like. | Source

Pack 1/2 of the dry mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 by 9 inch pan.

I find that it is best to use one's fingers such as shown in this photo in place of a spoon or spatula.

Pressing 1/2 of the dry mixture into the greased pan.
Pressing 1/2 of the dry mixture into the greased pan. | Source

Cover this mixture with the cooked date filling.

Cover the pressed mixture with the cooked date mixture.
Cover the pressed mixture with the cooked date mixture. | Source

Add the remainder of the oatmeal crumb mixture and pack down well.

Add the remainder of the oatmeal crumb mix and pack down well.
Add the remainder of the oatmeal crumb mix and pack down well. | Source

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into squares.

I turned the entire cooked Oatmeal Date Nut Squares cookie mixture out onto a wooden cutting board and used a large knife to slice across and cut into the desired shapes.

Let cool in pan after being baked and when completely cooled, cut into squares.
Let cool in pan after being baked and when completely cooled, cut into squares. | Source

Cute Cookie Jar

The NEW Pioneer Woman Charlie Cookie Jar
The NEW Pioneer Woman Charlie Cookie Jar

Many of the old cookie jars were in the shapes of animals like dogs, birds or even people when I was growing up.

 

Bar cookie recipe

Below is the final product...and scrumptious (if I do say so myself!)

This bar cookie recipe has a chewy candy-like interior because of the cooked date and sugar mixture and yet a crumbly delectable exterior because of the oatmeal mixture.

Hope you, the readers of this hub, will enjoy this family recipe as much as my cousin Bill and I have over the years.

Please leave a comment below if you decide to try out this recipe for yourself. Let me know what you think. Thanks!


Oatmeal Date Nut Squares

Oatmeal Date Nut Squares
Oatmeal Date Nut Squares | Source

Please rate this cookie bar recipe. Thanks!

3.9 stars from 17 ratings of Oatmeal Date Nut Bar Cookie Recipe

Oatmeal Caramel Bars...(good tips for getting bar cookies out of a pan among other things)

Like cookies? Here are more recipes...


© 2011 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 84 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Susie,

So happy to know that you like the sound of this recipe. Believe me...once you try it, you will be making it again. It is good!!!


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 4 weeks ago from Minnesota

Oh, does this cookie bar recipe ever look yummy good. Dates, nuts and oatmeal are healthy foods and baked together like this spells "comfort food". Pinned to my home recipes. - Kudos.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 12 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Brenda Kaye,

This recipe was always a family favorite. Hope it becomes one of yours also. Take your time in learning how to navigate this site and most of all...enjoy! When I started, I just wrote and knew nothing at all about how best to proceed. With time and some practice it starts making sense. I noticed that you have yet to write anything. Hope you start soon. Then when you comment on other people's hubs, generally they come back and read one of yours. You start building something that way...a hub at a time...and readers of your hubs. Good luck!


Brenda Kaye profile image

Brenda Kaye 12 months ago from Texas

I do want to try this recipe this year adding it to my recipe collections. It is very interesting recipe and one I will definitely keep and pass on to my family. Than you so much. I am new to this site and still learning how to do everything ugh!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 12 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

One of my neighbors just asked me for this recipe as she intends to add these oatmeal date nut bar cookies to some gift baskets that she is planning to make. Obviously it made a hit with her family when I recently shared some with her.

Getting some rain and wind today with the latest cold front. Will enjoy the cooler temps for this time of year. Stay warm and cozy up there!


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