I remember in the early days of knowing Ethan talk of a date-nut bread that his mom used to make. His mouth watered and eyes glistened just at the thought of this childhood treat. I'd never tasted a date-nut bread until one day when he shared some of one that his sister made. SOOO delicious! I was beginning to understand his obsession.
Last year, I finally got the recipe from Ethan's mom and realized that it is even more amazing when it is freshly baked and still warm. I've been baking the bread ever since. While mom got the recipe from a co-worker years ago, we have no idea what the original source was (if we did, that person/publication would have an altar in our home!). This bread is just the right amount of sweet, moist, with a little bit of crunch and fairly simple to make.
If you're looking for a baked good that makes for a great holiday gift, THIS IS IT! I did ask Ethan's permission before publishing the recipe and he agreed. He said we should consider it his gift to the world :)
1 cup dates, chopped coarsely
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place dates, nuts, baking soda, salt and butter in a bowl. Pour boiling water over all. Stir well and set aside
- In another bowl, beat eggs until foamy
- Beat sugar into eggs. Add vanilla
- Add flour to eggs and sugar
- Mix date-nut mixture into batter and mix well together
- Pour batter into loaf pan that has been buttered, lined with wax or parchment paper, and buttered again
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until it tests done in the center
- Let cool in pan 10 minutes
- Turn out on rack. Remove paper and let cool before slicing
Since there are only two of us and we want to avoid eating a whole loaf on our own in the span of a few days, we've been freezing half a loaf and eating off the other half for a few days. For freezing we wrap the loaf in foil, followed by plastic wrap. We've had it up to two months later and it was still delicioso.