Today’s recipe comes to us from Nancy Gidoen and it’s one that I’ve never had and yet it looks really yummy. I wonder if I could get my kids to try it
Stuffed dates from Nancy Gideon
Since my mother was raised in the South, she brought all sorts of strange things to the table like okra, grits, greens, and paw paws. Usually her very Yankee husband and daughters would regard these regional oddities with suspicion . . . except at Christmas time. No one knows how to throw down the baked goods like a Southerner! Our kitchen was always filled with sheets of waxed paper and pans boiling with something sweet. Divinity was her favorite specialty, but it was a lot of work for so little substance . . . and there was that watched pot thing. What she would let we girls help with was the fondant for her stuffed dates – just perfect for small hands. Oh, baby! I wasn’t keen on the date part until I got older, but the fondant was purely delicious! I remember rolling out the red and green ribbons of dough, breaking it off to fit into the dates . . . and trying not to sample.
Here’s a simple recipe that comes together for an elegant offering around the holidays. We didn’t used chopped nuts and instead pressed a pecan piece into the fondant as a yummy topper. Maybe this Christmas I’ll put my grandson to work as a helper . . .
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut or orange extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 4 dozen pitted whole dates
- food coloring, optional
- granulated sugar
Sift powdered sugar and blend with sweetened condensed milk and flavorings. Knead fondant mixture until very smooth. Add finely chopped pecans. If using food coloring, divide mixture into 3 separate bowls and use a little green food coloring to tint one a light green, a little red to tint one pink and leave the other white (or use your own colors, depending on season). Cover bowls with damp cloth and refrigerate overnight. Fill each date with the chilled fondant and roll in granulated sugar.
Makes 4 dozen stuffed dates.
And while munching on those dates, I’m hoping to get to these five books I’ve been dying to read:
Lothaire by Kresley Cole
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
If Looks Could Kill by Eileen Dreyer
Prince of Shadows copy edits and galleys for the 5-27-13 release (sometimes work and play is one in the same!)