Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
Nutty, sweet, and chewy, our date nut bread is perfect for toast, as is, or even in French toast.
The Backstory: I don’t know where I got this recipe, but it has been with so many other recipes that I’ve had in a folder that are all yellowed with age. Some of the amounts written down were barely visible, and neither were all of the ingredients. So, I had to go on a search to fill in some of the gaps. Of course that yellow, ragged paper ended up in the trash. Yet, I remembered vividly where I first had this delicious bread. It was about 1955 and I was shopping with my mother, in the City. The City refers to New York City. The restaurant was Chock Full of Nuts (I’m really dating myself here, LOL) and the lunch I had with my mother was to die for. Simple and scrumptious. More of the Backstory after the recipe…
Date Nut Bread
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups large dates, pitted, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 4 inch large loaf pan. Set aside. Put the raisins and dates in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Add the baking soda, brown sugar and salt. Set aside and let cool. Drain the water. Put the raisins and dates into a large bowl.
Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder and mix. Add the walnuts and the vanilla. Combine all ingredients until just blended and pour into loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool before taking out of pan.
…The Backstory continues: I was 14 years old at the time. Mom and I stopped for a quick bite. She ordered us Date Nut sandwiches. Smothered between two tasty slices of bread there was a smear of cream cheese. Heavenly coffee completed our lunch. (I was drinking coffee at 14 years old. No PC food or parenting police to question my mother. Just a nice waitress pouring two mugs of steaming coffee.) I’m salivating, now, just thinking about it. I’m telling you–the younger generation has no idea what they missed. But I digress.
For years after that, whenever I was in the city I would stop at the Chock Full of Nuts lunch counter that was near Macy’s department store. In those years it just didn’t get any better than that, good food at a lunch counter and shopping with Mom.
I hope you enjoy this recipe–it is truly a classic that has stood the test of time. It’s not quite the original but it’s pretty darn good (if I may say so).