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What do I do with a pound of dates?

I was going through my freezer the other day and I found a bag of dates that I had thrown in there last year, simply because I wasn't eating sugar or sweet fruit at the time and couldn't think of a way to use them up before they molded (if they do indeed mold!). Anyway, now I am trying to get them out of the freezer, so I need a recipe that will use up lots of dates! I would just stuff them and wrap them in bacon, but since they've been frozen I don't know if their texture will still be good. I was thinking of making some type of compote or chutney to disguise any textural issues, something like one of these, although maybe with a more interesting spice profile (garam masala, curry, perhaps a little tamarind in the mix?):

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aa...

http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/spe...

Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for a date chutney? Or any other delicious recipe that uses a ton of dates?

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  1. First taste to make sure they're not freezer-burned. If they're good, look for middle eastern recipes. Lots of yummy sweetmeats involving dates, nuts and rosewater.. They're also good cooked with nuts, cinnamon and honey, and then stuffed inside a cookie dough and baked.

    1. This will work, even if they are a bit freezer burned...
      My grandma made this into a log, but I've also seen them made into little balls...

      1 C finely chopped dates
      3/4 C sugar
      1 egg, beaten
      1/2 C butter
      3/4 t vanilla
      1/2 t salt
      2 C Rice Krispies
      1/2 C chopped pecans
      Coconut or more chopped pecans

      Cook dates, egg, sugar, butter, vanilla & salt to thick syrup.
      Remove from heat & fold in cereal and nuts.
      Cool until comfortable to handle. Shape into a log and then roll in coconut or more nuts.
      Chill and slice. Store in airtight container. (I put them in the fridge because it's always so hot here. Grandma just left them on the cool porch.)

      Pam

      3 Replies
      1. re: onrushpam

        Those sound deadly! I love date candy and adding Rice Krispies is brilliant. I'm guessing this is an old, old recipe, but I've never seen that combo before. I will definitely try this.

        1. re: Isolda

          Well, dunno how old, old it can be, since it includes Rice Krispies :-) My memories of it goes back to the early 60s.
          My grandma always made these as one item amongst many Christmas goodies and they were always my favorite. A friend in CA has date trees on his property. I sent this recipe and got raves back.

          1. re: onrushpam

            Oh, the early 60s is positively ancient. That's when I was born.

      2. Look up tagine recipes. Plenty call for dates, and if not, they would work well in most.

        1. This is a great recipe because 1) you can make it two different ways 2) it can be made almost entirely fat-free 3) it is quick and easy 4) it is delicious. Process in Cuisinart 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1 cup water, 8-12 oz dates (doesn't matter), rind of 1 lemon (just peel it off with the potato peeler), 1/8 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1 tsp soda. When entirely smooth, add 1 cup flour and 1 cup walnuts (optional) and process briefly. Bake in an 8 x 8 pan at 350* for 25-30 minutes. This makes a delicate date-flavored tea cake. HOWEVER. If you hold the dates, process the other stuff, and then add the dates and just pulse briefly, so that they remain in chunks, you will have a date torte. Another option is to use egg substitute and skip the nuts to make a very low-fat but still very rich cake. I have fooled around with this recipe every which way and it always comes out; it is foolproof. Extra-good with whipped cream.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Querencia

            This looks delicious and different - thanks for sharing!

            1. re: Querencia

              I have a box of chocolate-covered dates that my parents brought back from Oman. I'm not a huge fan of dates as candy but would happily eat them whizzed up in a cake. Leaving out the lemon, do you think your recipe would work with the choc dates?

              Don't think they'd work so well in a tagine or chutney ;)

            2. In a different vein, I made this a couple times on Saturday mornings, minus all the non-fat nonsense. Very tasty.

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...