Dark Secrets (Date-Walnut Squares) Recipe

The recipe title made me raise my eyebrows, what dark secrets was this author hiding? The newspaper clipping is from the The Rhode Islander newspaper and was in a recipe box originally purchased at an estate sale in Rhode Island. The box contained several similar recipe clippings from this same newspaper, each one dated 1951, so I assume this clipping comes from the same timeframe.

I like the included photograph of the author which makes it so much more personal. Mrs. Howard Johnson looks rather pure and without secrets, but then again her name is the same as the Howard Johnson’s motel chain … so maybe there is more to her than meets the eye.

Dark Secrets
5 tablespoons sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 sugar
1 cup dates, cut
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add dates, nuts, vanilla and eggs. Blend well. Bake in shallow greased pan, 8×10 inches, at 325F for about 45 minutes. When cool, cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Personally, I have a love affair with dates and this sounds like it makes a sweet and chewy bar cookie, probably similar to a brownie texture. This is definetly something I would like to try the next time I purchase dates. Maybe the secret is that you need to hide them from your family because they are so dang good?

Update 8/19/08: I discovered another blogger who wrote about her family connection to the Dark Secrets cookie bar. You can read more about it at Dish ‘n’ That.

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