Friday, December 24, 2010

Baking Holiday Magic

Posted by: Nicole North
Happy Christmas Eve! You won’t need a magic wand or a spell to create this tasty holiday treat. It’s easy and quick.

At our house, my husband cooks the meats and I bake the desserts and breads, etc. One thing I enjoy is making breads that are not necessarily desserts, such as cinnamon gingerbread, pumpkin bread, apple spice bread, banana nut bread, etc. This year I tried a different one. Date nut bread. I had never eaten dates until a friend said she loved them and I should try them. Turns out they are the perfect addition to bread. This is an excellent dessert or snack during the holidays or any time of year. You can eat it for breakfast or brunch, too. You can make your own icing, or simply spread butter on the hot bread. Or you can eat it plain. It’s very moist and tasty. I found this recipe online then modified it the way I wanted. I love creating my own versions of recipes.

Date Nut Bread
1 to 2 ½ cups pitted, chopped dates
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup virgin coconut oil
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup all purpose white flour
¾ cup natural whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
½ teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Cooking spray works well.

In a medium bowl, combine the chopped dates, butter and coconut oil. Pour the boiling water over them, and let stand until cool. When the dates have cooled, stir in the brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and egg until well blended. In a larger bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nuts and salt. Stir the date and sugar mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!


Instead of coconut oil you can use all butter. The amount of dates varies because the original recipe specified 2 ½ cups dates. I only had an 8 ounce package. When I chopped them they probably equaled 1 cup and the bread turned out great. The original recipe said all purpose flour, but I used half whole wheat to make it healthier. The original recipe said walnuts but I used about 1 ½ cup pecans. Leftovers of the loaf can be sliced and frozen, then reheated in the microwave. You could also make muffins and the baking time would be less.

Hope you enjoy! And don’t be afraid to experiment with your food. :)

What is YOUR favorite holiday treat?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you! I wish you all good things in the New Year!

Nicole North's erotic romance novellas have been described by reviewers
as "exciting, high octane, captivating, scintillating, sinfully delicious
and pure romance." Her stories contain "heart and heat, killer love scenes,
magic and extraordinary characters." Her books from Red Sage include: Beast
in a Kilt in Secrets Volume 29, Indulge Your Fantasies (July 2010), Kilted
Lover (Nov. 2009) and Devil in a Kilt is in Secrets Volume 27 Untamed
Pleasures (July 2009). Laird of Darkness will be her first novella from
Carina Press, March 2011. Scoundrel in a Kilt will be released in a future
Secrets volume. Though she has a degree in psychology, writing romance is
her first love.




  1. I love date nut bread, though my mother's recipe differs slightly. I'll have to try it with the coconut oil!

  2. Yum! I'm definitely going to tryout that recipe, Nicole. Thanks. I have dates and nuts in my oatmeal when I make it. Love the combo.

  3. Okay, I'm not into baking like this--so I have to say Haviland's thin mints! They're my favorite and they ONLY sell them around the holidays. Once they're gone, I can't have them for another whole year. *sigh*

    Congratulations on the Cupid and Psyche nomination for Kilted Lover at The Romance Studio, Nicole!!! Merry Christmas!

  4. I LOVE these types of breads. They're good to grab for a quick breakfast too. I think the only holiday treat I don't care for is fruitcake. I remember one holiday season, my brother and I passed the same fruitcake back and forth between our households SEVERAL times because he knew how much I hated it. It became quite the war to see who got stuck with the dreaded treat. We both resorted to hiding it in each other's houses. Of course - I won. ;-)

  5. Yummm, I love dates in sweets. Give me date squares and I'm a happy girl. This recipe sounds delish, I'll definitely try it after the holidays. Right now our house is already too full of cookies and candies. And we just took delivery of a NY style cheesecake with cranberry/Cointreau sauce. It does sound good, doesn't it? I can't wait for tomorrow - it will be our Christmas dessert.

    Here's a link for a recipe for a fabulous cookie created for the special few who truly appreciate fruitcake. We are a rare breed, I know, but these cookies might change a few minds.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. Thanks Cindy! I noticed there are a huge number of date nut bread recipes out there. It was tough choosing one to play with and alter. I LOVE coconut oil so I had to give it a try in the bread. :)

  7. Barbara, I hadn't thought of dates and nuts in oatmeal. Great idea! Time to buy more dates. I usually put cinnamon and honey in my oatmeal.

  8. Thanks Terry!!! It's such an honor to be nominated for a CAPA with such big name authors (like you!) I'm thrilled, to say the least! About those thin mints, I love mint candy so I'll have to look for these. Merry Christmas!

  9. Maeve, yes, this bread would be awesome for breakfast. I imagine the sugar could be cut down a bit more too if you didn't want it as sweet as it is (although it isn't terribly sweet.)

    That is too funny about the fruitcake exchange. LOL!! A new game for the holidays... hide the fruitcake. Then someone finds it next October molded in the bottom of a closet. LOL Sorry, I have a warped imagination. Thanks for the laugh!

  10. Lu, OMG I love cheesecake but must restrain myself from eating it. I know you guys will enjoy that one. Love cookies too! I just went and checked out the recipe. How hilarious! I've never laughed while reading how to make cookies before. So it's the brandy that makes them so yummy?!? I can't wait to try these!

  11. Sounds good, Nicole. I enjoy baking similar cake "breads' during the winter months when the oven heat is appreciated. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely try your recipe during this chilly season.

  12. Oh, did someone mention cheesecake? I have a "to die for" pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap pecan crust recipe that I make every year for Thanksgiving. Yummm. Geez, my mouth is watering now. Must go make lunch. Something low fat and healthy, for tomorrow, all restraint is set aside.

  13. I don't think I've ever tried date nut bread before but this looks delicious! We didn't bake much at all this year. We were gifted cookies and bought a French silk pie for dessert tonight. Lazy.

  14. Dawn, Thanks! Breads are fun, easy and delicious. Very nice in fall and winter.

  15. Wow that sounds amazing, Barbara! I once ordered a book with 300 cheesecake recipes. It's probably a good thing I can't find it now. LOL

  16. Eleri, I can understand that. I refuse to make any more desserts this holiday! I'm sure other family members will provide plenty and I don't need the leftovers. LOL

  17. My son works at an upscale cafeteria called Cafe Latte. They make amazing desserts. He's bringing home a raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake for Christmas. Num. I feel my butt expanding just thinking about it.

  18. This recipe sounds yummy! I'll have to try it because I love dates. My favorite Christmas dessert (or to have for any time) is Coca-Cola cake. I'm baking one this week to take to my co-workers.

  19. That sounds delich Barbara!! Enjoy!!

    Thanks Liz!! I'll have to look up that Coca-Cola cake.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  20. Looks delicious! We Eastern Europeans love breads like this. Our favorite is poppy seed bread.

  21. I LOVE date nut bread. My mother used to make them in Chock full o'Nuts coffee cans, so they came out rounded. Try it with cream cheese instead of butter.

  22. Oops. Meant cream cheese as a spread, not an ingredient. Though, actually...

  23. Christine, I love poppy seeds. I'll have to try those in bread sometime. Today I'm thinking I might make banana nut bread since I have some overripe bananas, nuts, and the rest of the ingredients. :)

  24. Taryn, yes, it would be delicious with cream cheese spread over it. MMMM!


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