Date, Nut and Cherry Squares

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PREP TIME

25 min

Makes

24 squares

* PLUS Baking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 3/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green glacé cherries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Spray a 9×13-in. (3 L) baking dish with oil. In a small bowl, stir flour with baking powder.
  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar for 2 min. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping side of bowl between additions. Using medium speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until evenly mixed. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in dates, nuts and cherries until evenly distributed. Scrape into prepared baking dish, then smooth top.
  • Bake in centre of oven until top is light golden, 40 to 45 min. Place on a wire rack and cool 15 min, then cut into 24 squares.
  • Place granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Roll squares in sugar to lightly coat. Then cool completely on wire rack. If making ahead, store in an airtight container in a cool place up to 1 week, or freeze up to 2 months.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 174,
  • Protein
  • 2 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 30 g,
  • Fat
  • 6 g,
  • Sodium
  • 18 mg.

Mary Anna King: mom of two, grandmother of three, Mississauga, Ont., Finalist, Holiday Cookie Contest. On the last day of Grade 8, more than 50 years ago, Mary Anna King dropped in on her home-economics teacher, Miss Durnan, for a final goodbye. Miss Durnan invited the young student to flip through her cookbook, and these bars caught Mary Anna’s eye. When the holidays came around that year, Mary Anna pulled out the recipe and perfected it on her first try. She’s baked the bars every Christmas since – finding time between bridge and square dancing – but she’s never been tempted to play around with the ingredients. No sense messing with a sure thing.