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English Date Bars (Matrimonial)

CHINESE FIVE SPICE; Clove Powder; True Cinnamon

The history of this old fashioned bar indicates it was a popular treat in Canada, but Canadians state the original recipe is from Scotland. The most popular version of this recipe, however, is from England, known as a 'Matrimonial.' Wherever originated (or however it got the strange name), the taste of this bar is a delicious match of dates, spices and oats. Our version uses Chinese Five Spice, Clove Powder, True Cinnamon and a hint of orange to perfectly compliment the dates. It's a bar so yummy and easy to make, it will quickly become a family favorite.

Ingredients For The Filling:

2 cups chopped dates

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tsp orange zest

1 1/2 Tblspn lemon juice

1/2 tsp True Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Clove Powder

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend

7/8 cup water

Ingredients For The Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup light brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp True Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend


Make the filling by combining the filling ingredients in a saucepan and then heating them over medium-high heat (stirring constantly) for about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray (with cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Make the crust by combining the flour, sugar, oats, salt and spices in a bowl and then cutting the butter into this mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Mix together until crumbly. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top the bottom crust with the prepared filling. Crumble the remaining crust over the filling and press lightly. Bake for about 25 minutes or until lightly golden.

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