Saturday, June 26, 2010

Matrimony Cake ???

I got this recipe from my mother, who I assume got it from her mother. I have NO idea why it's called Matrimony Cake. It's not like any wedding cake I've ever had. In fact, it's a variety of what is normally called date squares or date bars. Is it named for the institution of marriage? It has oats -- because hopefully all the wild oats have been sown and from now on there will only be domestic ones. It has dates -- lots and lots of dates, of which a happy marriage should have many. Sugar -- well, yeah. Cinammon and salt for spice. Okay, so I'm getting carried away and should stop, but if anyone knows the real reason for its name, please tell me!

1/2 cup butter
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon soda

Mix together to a crumbly texture and spread half the mixture on the bottom of the pan. My recipe doesn't specify the pan size. I seem to remember my mother using a rectangular pan, but I used an 8"x8" pan and it worked fine.

1 pound dates, pitted and chopped. I suggest using those very sweet lovely dark Mediterranean dates.The lighter-brown California dates just aren't as good, in my opinion.
1 cup water
Salt. The recipe doesn't specify; I used 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon. Again, the recipe doesn't specify. I used 1 teaspoon.

Cook filling until soft and spread over the bottom crust. Then spread the rest of the crumble on top.

Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Cut into squares. They're great hot with ice cream or cold just by themselves.