It’s funny how easy it is to lose a recipe. And to think I’m so organized. These date nut logs have passed through my brain from time to time, and yet I haven’t been able to locate the recipe for years.
And then a while back I got out my little book called Glorious Liqueurs, when I posted on Spiced Pear Liqueur. Just for fun, I looked through the book to see recipes I’d bookmarked, and also recipes I’ve made. And there it was. Just in time for the holidays. Glory be.
The book, which is available through Amazon, was published in 1991. It contains recipes for making your own liqueurs, as well as recipes utilizing the liqueurs.
The author describes these date nut logs as “halfway between a confection and a cookie.”
Date Nut Logs*
from Glorious Liqueurs, by May Aurea Morris
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
8 ounces pitted dates, chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped (about 3 1/2 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13″ baking pan; set aside.
Onto a sheet of wax paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
Toast the pecans in a skillet, then set them aside to cool before chopping. (The author didn’t toast her pecans.)
Combine the chopped dates and pecans in a medium bowl. I added about a tablespoon of the flour mixture and tossed it into the dates and pecans to make them less sticky and more able to separate.
In a large bowl with the electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs until they are foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is very thick and forms a ribbon when the beaters are lifted from it.
On low speed, beat in the flour mixture just until absorbed. Beat in the liqueur and zest.
Fold in the dates and pecans. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
With a sharp knife, cut 9 lengthwise strips and 8 crosswise ones, forming 6 dozen tiny rectangles.
Sift the powdered sugar onto a sheet of wax paper. Gently roll the rectangles in the sugar, coating all sides and forming log shapes.
The log rolling only works when the cake is still warm. If you get carried away on HOTELS.com like I did the evening I made these, just leave them in mini rectangles. No one cares what shape these are, because they’re that good. I’ve actually undercooked them before, ever so slightly, and rolled them in to balls.
Store the cookies in a tightly covered container.
From experience, I know they freeze well in a ziplog bag or plastic ware.