Packed with dates and pecans, this moist sweet bread is excellent on its own and even better topped with the chunky cream cheese spread. We enjoy it during the holiday season, but also for after-school and late-night snacks. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
- 2-1/2 cups chopped dates
- 1-1/2 cups boiling water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons chopped dates
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon 2% milk
- Place dates in a large bowl. Combine boiling water and baking soda; pour over dates. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside.
- In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with date mixture. Stir in pecans.
- Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine spread ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with bread. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices with 1/2 cup spread).
Originally published as Date Pecan Tea Bread in Taste of Home December/January 2000, p39
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