dates

Date Bar Dessert

When Owen and I got married, I was excited about learning to cook. Finally, I had my own kitchen! At my wedding shower, a longtime family friend gave me the instructions for her favorite brownies written on a recipe card (along with her gift) and on the day of our wedding, one of my sister’s high school friends gave us The Best of Country Cooking 2001 by Taste of Home. She had glued on the front page “A Recipe for a Happy Marriage” and a hand written note. That was where it all began. I love that cookbook, it’s full of memories and sentiment. It also contains the recipe for Date Bar Dessert, one of the first desserts I brought as a newlywed to our Thanksgiving family gathering. Of course, it’s always exciting when people enjoy what you’ve made! (It’s hard to go wrong with oats, butter, brown sugar and sticky sweet dried fruit.) Owen and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, so I happily share this gift with you! In time for the holidays I might add, although on any given day it really makes for a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats

1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour

1 cup packed Brown Sugar

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cold Butter

2 1/2 cups chopped Dates

3/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Water

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.

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Press into a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

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In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water.

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Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.

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*It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!

Date Bar Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped Dates
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *I prefer the old school two knives instead of a pastry cutter for this large amount, but do as you please.
  3. Press into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan.
  4. In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in walnuts. Spread over crust.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars.
  6. *It is recommended to serve with whip topping, but I have to tell you I like it without. You choose!
http://sadiesnest.com/date-bar-dessert/

Sadie’s Fruitcake

I can’t tell you why fruitcake gets a bad rap. Maybe I haven’t eaten a bad one. I can tell you that I could eat this one every day. I’m really proud of it. A blogger friend of mine, Natascha of Natascha’s Palace, made a fruitcake challenge and I accepted. I’ve tweaked this cake to perfection, if I do say so myself. It’s a little sugar, spice and everything nice (with less emphasis on spice or heavy on the everything). This fruitcake is dense and moist and outright delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

As organic as possible:

3 cups flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/3 cup chopped dates, pitted

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 cup tube or angel food pan. (Do yourself a favor and do not choose a decorative bundt cake pan, trust me on this one.) Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large a bowl. Gently toss the pecans and walnuts in the flour mixture. Next add the dates. I like to toss these carefully (a few at a time) in the flour nut mixture because they are the stickiest. Once the chopped dates are coated with the flour mixture, add the cherries, cranberries, regular and golden raisins, and coconut. Gently toss until all fruit is lightly coated with flour mixture.

In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and beat with the butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add vanilla, almond extract and lemon juice. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, a scoop full at a time to creamed butter mixture, until all is combined. (I like to mix this part by hand, to not over-mix.) The batter will be very thick (like the consistency of  a thick drop cookie). Spoon the batter in the prepared pan, and gently even out the top with the back of the spoon or spatula.

Bake the cake for 1 1/2  hours. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the edges of the cake and place onto cooling rack to cool completely before serving.