Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nana's Date Loaf Candy

Originally posted on Remembering Frances.

In addition to Nana's White Fruit Cake, Christmas in my house wasn't complete with Nana's Date Loaf Candy.

I'll be honest, I don't love Date Loaf Candy as much as I love Fruit Cake. In fact, I probably haven't had any in close to 20 years and at my request, Nana never sent me any.

That said, everyone else in my family loves Date Loaf Candy and I will be making it this Christmas. Shhhh! Don't tell them.

Just like with Nana's White Fruit Cake, I don't know where this recipe originated, but it came as part of the recipe collection I was given in 1999. The words are Nana's because I think it taste better made the way she thought about it.

Nana's Date Loaf Candy

3 cups sugar
3 Tbs White Karo Syrup
1 cup milk
3 Tbs Oleo (JLG Note: "oleo" is butter or margarine, I'll use butter)
8 oz pitted Dates (chopped)
1 cup Pecans (chopped)

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in sauce pan and cook until makes a soft ball in cold water. Cook about 12-15 minutes. Will turn dark while cooking. You can sample little in cold water several times and will feel kinda hard.

2. Add Oleo and stir in dates. I chop into pieces so will dissolve easier. Continue to stir.

3. Add pecans and with spoon take a big helping and roll into a sausage-type roll. I put butter on my hands to roll easier and stuff will be hot.

4. Place on a damp cloth then roll into a roll about 2 inches across.

5. I put on bottom refrigerator shelf and leave for 20-30 minutes. Then you can take out and cut into about 4 pieces and roll in wax paper or Saran Wrap and put in Ziploc bag and leave until ready to eat.

6. Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Enjoy!


JLG UPDATE 10/19/2009: I posed some questions to my mom today who informs me that Nana's recipe makes about 2 12 inch logs. The number of pieces of candy it will make depends on how thick you choose to cut each piece from the log and whether you cut the round pieces into 4 bite-sized pieces or not (Nana never did). If you are planning to keep your Date Loaf Candy for any length of time, then it should be stored in the refrigerator.

While searching for recipes of Nana's, I perused the Batesville (MS) Presbyterian Church Cookbook from 1993 and found the Date Loaf Candy Recipe submitted by Nana's sister, Dixie Gladney. They are similar, but with a few slight differences.

Louise L. Smith's Date Loaf Candy submitted by Dixie (Scruggs) Gladney

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

Cook sugar, milk and butter to soft ball stage. Add dates and boil 5 minutes. Take from heat and beat until thick. Add nuts then beat again until real stiff. Wet a cloth kitchen towel. Spread candy with spoon into long roll on wet cloth, then roll 1 ply cloth around candy to make roll. Unwrap and let set. Will be sticky at first. Slice into 1/2-inch slices.

(JLG Note: Yes, I know, there's no explanation of what to do with the vanilla. I'd suggest adding it to the sugar, milk and butter, but I haven't made this recipe.)

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