Unbaked, refrigerated Date Squares recipe – a South African favourite. Add brandy, cherries or coconut for extra flavour!

1 packet Marie biscuits (200 gram)
100 ml sugar
250 gram chopped dates (1 packet)
115 gram butter
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspooon vanilla essence or brandy


2 to 4 tablespoons glazed cherries-in-brandy, quartered
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Desiccated coconut to coat the squares

How to
Crush the biscuits into fingernail-size pieces.

Melt the butter and the sugar. Add the dates and simmer until the mixture is soft and mushy.

Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool down a somewhat.

If you want to add cherries, do it now.

Add whisked egg and vanilla and mix.

Add crushed biscuits and mix.

Spread mixture into a lined container (we used a 150mm x 260mm brownie pan lined with foil).

Refrigerate for a few hours and cut into small squares.

Served as is, or cover in coconut to prevent the squares from sticking to each other.

Can be frozen.

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This recipe and photo is from the Rainbow Cooking website, where you will find a collection of mostly South African recipes, both traditional and modern.