Historical Recipes: Honey Date Squares

By Andrea Sabean | Pioneering Today

May 27

Honey Date Square Recipe, straight from the 1940’s and Andrea’s great-grandmother’s recipes collection. Are you swooning with me? There is nothing I love more than sharing recipes with a history, except when someone is sharing a new one with me. Confession: I am a recipe addict.

Show me a reliable, tastes amazing, and uses only whole food ingredient recipe and I’m hooked! That’s why we’re about to become best friends, right? Too soon, okay, how about good friends with room for growth. ~Melissa1940's Honey Date Squares Recipe

I love historical recipes.  Not only are they a window into the daily lives of people in other times and places, but they are often a treasure-trove of whole-foods meals!

When I inherited my great-grandmother’s recipe collection, I was particularly interested in a collection of baking recipes from the early 1940’s.  Due to war-time sugar-rationing, all of the recipes were made with natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

Although sugar is more plentiful than ever these days, many of us have switched to using less processed sweeteners in our baking because we know it is better for us, and our families.  This makes these recipes from the 40’s just as relevant for today as they were more than 70 years ago.

These Honey Date Squares are a lovely sweet treat.  If you are a low-sugar household I think you could cut the honey in the recipe and still have something delicious.  My husband, who loves his sweets, prefers them with the full amount.  I have made these with walnuts, pecans, almonds, and a mix of nuts, and all have been good, so go ahead and use your favorites.  I have also made these with whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, and a gluten-free flour blend, so again, use what your family likes best.

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1940s Honey Date Squares Recipe

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup dates, chopped (raisins would also be good!)
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ¾ cup flour (whole wheat, spelt, or gluten-free blend)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Flavor variations: although I haven’t tried them this way, you could swap out the dates for any dried fruit or even chocolate chips.  You could also add in a tsp of flavoring such as vanilla (make your own vanilla extract), or orange zest.  Chocolate chips and cherries would be a yummy combo, as would cranberry and orange.

Method

Beat together eggs, nuts, dates, and honey.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.

Spread in a greased 9×9 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

When cool, cut into squares.1940's Honey Date Square Recipe

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Historical Recipes: Honey Date Squares
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup dates, chopped (raisins would also be good!)
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ¾ cup flour (whole wheat, spelt, or gluten-free blend)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Beat together eggs, nuts, dates, and honey. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Spread in a greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
  3. When cool, cut into squares.
Have you had any experience cooking from historical recipes?  What are your favorites?

Bio Photo Andrea Sabean
Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in
Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing, crafting, and pattern design, at www.artisaninthewoods.com.

About the Author

Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing, crafting, and pattern design at http://www.artisaninthewoods.com/

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