Sunday, December 5, 2010
Date Nut Bread
This recipe came from my Mother-in-Law who got it from her Mother (thank you, Jay's Grandma Bevy!) who got it from...I don't know where. My Mother-in-Law rediscovered it over Thanksgiving weekend while going through her recipe file as we were discussing dishes that have gone out of style (i.e. Raisin Sour Cream Pie, my Father-in-Law's favorite, which someday I'll have to attempt). She made a couple loaves that my four year old and I liked so much we nearly made ourselves sick eating too much. Oops. There's no denying this is a great quick bread recipe. Even better news was that unlike a lot of other quick bread recipes (banana, pumpkin, etc.) that rely on tons of oil, this one has a mere three tablespoons. The guilt is already lifting! And, to make for an even clearer conscience, I worked on the recipe and cut the sugar down by a quarter and substituted half whole wheat flour and it did not lose any of its original deliciousness (darn). Get your hands on some dates (the warehouse clubs--Costco and Sam's usually carry extremely affordable and delicious containers of whole, pitted dates) and try this recipe!
*And, once you have your dates, proceed to snack on them in a multitude of ways. We are fond of sticking whole roasted almonds inside them (instant dessert!), filling halved dates with homemade cream cheese spread (chopped apricots, cinnamon, chopped toasted pecans and a drizzle of honey in softened cream cheese), or for a rather decadent appetizer, wrap whole dates with bacon and bake until the bacon is crispy!
Date Nut Bread
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup hot water
3 tablespoons melted shortening (I substituted canola oil)
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
2 beaten eggs
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup roughly chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Pour hot water over dates and let stand until ready to use. Mix sugar and shortening (oil) in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with the dates and water mixture to the sugar, shortening and egg mixture. Gently stir in nuts. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to fully cool on a wire rack.
Great sliced and spread with cream cheese!