"This recipe in some old cookbooks is called Date Sandwich Cake. Other variations are Raisin Squares or Fig Squares. .. Date Squares (Matrimonial Cake, if you happen to come from the West) are a real nostalgia treat. The fillings in the 30s recipes was extremely sweet.
Today's versions reduce the sugar in the filling, since the dates are sweet enough, and are often microwaved. Raisin Puff, an old favorite in P.E.I. is somewhat similar, with raisin filling sandwiched between layers of soft cookie dough instead of an oatmeal mixture."
Filling: In saucepan, cook dates, sugar, lemon juice and water over medium heat, stirring often, until the dates are soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
In a bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, sugar, baking soda and salt; blend in butter until mixture is crumbly. Pat half onto bottom of 9 inch square pan. Spread filling evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture, patting lightly. Bake in a 350F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool; cut into squares.
MAKES: 36 SQUARES VARIATION: Mincemeat Squares : Use 2 cups mincemeat instead of date filling.
SOURCE: _A Century of Canadian Home Cooking: 1900 Through the 90s" by Carol Ferguson and Margaret Fraser