Oatmeal Bar Cookie Recipe with Dates and Nuts ~ Family Memories plus Photos
Oatmeal Date Nut Squares
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 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 auntClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
When we were growing up there was always a cookie jar filled with homemade cookies on the kitchen counter.
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
Start by mixing the oatmeal, flour, packed cup of brown sugar, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
Cut in the chilled pieces of butter and use a blender to combine with the oatmeal / flour mixture until crumbly.
Set the mixture aside.
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 togetherClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
Cover this mixture with the cooked date filling.
Add the remainder of the oatmeal crumb mixture and pack down well.
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.
Cute 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
Please rate this cookie bar recipe. Thanks!
Oatmeal Caramel Bars...(good tips for getting bar cookies out of a pan among other things)
Like cookies? Here are more recipes...
- Old Fashioned Heritage Cookie ~ Rolled Cookies with Dates and Nuts
Rolled in pinwheel fashion.
- Sweetheart Heart Shaped Cookies for Valentine's Day Gifts or Anytime The black pepper accentuates the other spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves in these delicious cookies. Can easily be cut into other shapes for different times of the year.
© 2011 Peggy Woods
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