Buttery and decadent, these easy Orange Walnut Date Squares with oats, brown sugar and a splash of cheer are just in time for holiday baking.
Let me introduce you to these incredibly easy Orange Walnut Date Squares. The secret is in the crumb…the bottom crust and top crumb use the same mixture of buttery deliciousness. Just use half for the top crumb and half for the bottom crust and fill in between with your favorite fruit and spice blend.
At our house we love the mix of flavors from dates and oranges. The aroma of flavor of these two baking today is heavenly and says the holiday season has definitely arrived.
Ingredients for Orange Walnut Date Squares
- Dates – we used Medjool dates to make these crumb bars. Be sure to remove the pitts!
- Brown Sugar – either light or dark brown sugar is fine.
- White Sugar
- Butter – we used unsalted butter for this recipe and added salt to the recipe. If using salted butter, omit the extra salt.
- Oats – use old fashioned rolled oats, not the quick-cooking kind.
- Flour – all-purpose flour
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Powder
- Orange Peel – the zest from about half and orange or use dried orange peel from your spice rack.
- Walnuts – we love how the walnuts compliment the flavor of dates in these bars. Pecans are extra tasty too!
- Orange Liqueur – Grand Marnier is our orange liqueur of choice, but any brand will do. Replace with orange juice or water to keep it non-alcoholic.
How to make Orange Walnut Date Squares
These bars are so simple – one batch of crumb mix divided in two and filling – that’s it. This crumb bar recipe works with lots of different fillings – including canned pie filling.
You can mix the crumbs by hand, but using a food process makes the process so EASY! Just throw in the crumb ingredients and give it a few pulses. Press half of the mixture into a parchment lined pan. Bake the bottom crust for 15 minutes and allow to cool while preparing the filling.
Spread the date and walnut filling over the cooled crust. Then sprinkle the top with the remaining crumb crust mix and bake until golden and bubbly.
Tips For Making the Best Holiday Cookies
The best tip for making any baking recipe is to measure your ingredients as accurately as possible, and making sure your ingredients are at the right temperature for blending. Baking is really just the science of how measured, blended ingredients respond to heat, so accuracy matters…a lot!
- Use a spoon, not the measuring cup, to over-fill powdered or ground ingredients into your measuring cup, then use a knife to scrape the excess off the top. Spoon filling helps to keep dry ingredients from compacting in the measuring cup. This method works well for powdered sugar, baking powder, soda and ground spices, too.
- Make sure to use softened butter and room temperature eggs. If you forget to take them out, here are shortcuts for warming butter and eggs to save you some time.
- Warm the butter, in it’s wrapper, in the microwave. Microwave on High for 5 second intervals, turning the butter over each time. No microwave? First, cut the cold butter into cubes. That’ll give it more surface area to warm. Get out a large mug and a paper towel. Pile up the butter so it will fit under the mug, or do this method in batches. Run water until it is very hot. Fill the mug with the hot water and wait for the outside of the mug to feel warm. Then quickly dump out the water, wipe it dry with the paper towel and sit it upside down over the butter. The heat will transfer from the mug to the butter and gently soften it.
- To warm eggs to room temperature, fill a bowl with warm (not hot) tap water and place the eggs in the bowl. Let the eggs sit in the bowl for 4 – 5 minutes until the egg shell is no longer cool to the touch.
What’s MLH’s Cookie Extravaganza?
Must Love Home’s Cookie Extravaganza is a tradition started in 2019. Every December we are counting down the days till Christmas with the most deliciously easy cookie recipes for the holidays. We’ll be sharing simple, fun recipes that are perfect for beginners as well the experienced baker, using easy pantry ingredients.
Click to see MLH’s Cookie Extravaganza thru the years! 😀
Orange Walnut Date Squares
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- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line on bottom and sides an 8 x 8 or similar size pan with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan, combine the dates, sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until very thick. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts, vanilla and orange liqueur. Allow to cool.
- To a large bowl or food processor add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, orange peel and butter. Mix or pulse until combined and dough just begins to stick together. Transfer 1/2 of the dough to the baking pan and press down into the pan with the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool slightly then pour date filling over baked crust. Sprinkle remaining crust dough over the top.
- Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes until browned and bubbling on the sides. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Remove from the pan using the sides of the parchment paper, cut and serve. For cleaner cutting, chill for at least 1 hour prior to cutting.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
© Copyright Christine Mello for Must Love Home. We would love for you to share a link to this recipe but please do not copy/paste the recipe instructions to websites or social media. We are happy for you to share a photo with a link back to this website instead.