Saturday, January 29, 2011

Date and Nut Sticks

Oftentimes, the key to trying out a recipe I never would have otherwise is having around an ingredient I'm not longer interested in eating. Instead of throwing it away (waste? gasp!), I stick it into a baked good of some sort. Such was the case with some dates I had laying around. Don't misunderstand me. I love dates. They're soft and sweet and delicious. But.. I'd had these around for awhile and I just didn't think I'd end up eating them. So, I began the date recipe research. Now, before I begin, let me remind you that the last time I made something with dates, the very yummy date bars, I got made fun of and still get made fun of until this day. Something about date bars must remind people of prunes, which people must associate with old people, because the jibes I got about the date bars still won't end. Some haters just don't understand how I made them or why. But I maintain that they were delicious! I mean, dates and oat crumble- what could be better? It was with this trepidation that I made these Date and Nut Sticks from Carole Walter's Great Cookies. Dates and nuts? I put a sign on them warning all possible tasters about what lay within them. And you know what? To my great surprise, these unassuming cookies were hits! Everyone thought they were delicious. Perhaps because they are encased by a sweet, vanilla-ey cookie, I dont know. But even my roommate who is the top date bar mocker was one over by them. I'm gloating about that small victory just writing about it now. And so, my friends, the date has been redeemed. Make them. Just dont dredge them in the powdered sugar like the original recipe asks for. They're better without.

Date and Nut Sticks
slightly adapted from Great Cookies

1 cup medium chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat your oven to 375. Line a 9 inch pan with foil. Grease and set aside.
Place the walnuts and dates in a bowl. Blend and set aside.
Sift the flour, and baking powder into a bowl.
Melt the margarine in a microwave and cool until tepid. Add the sugar,
and mix well.
Add the vanilla and eggs,
and blend thoroughly.
Add the dry ingredients,
and fold them in.
Add the fruit and nuts,
and fold in.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to the edges.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before cutting. Separate the pieces and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

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