I had such rave reviews from the family last week on my Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread that I decided not to rest on my laurels but to forge ahead & make Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread. I haven’t made or had Date Nut Bread for years, maybe decades, but I came across a fun, retro recipe and couldn’t resist!
Everyone loved Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread, my Dad and Stepmom, and so did I, much to my surprise. I remembered when I was a kid, I’d always avoid Date Nut Bread on the platters of various quick bread that showed up at each family gathering. I guess I have more grown-up tastes now.
About Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
When I looked at the recipe, I thought, “Now, should I trust the wife of a man known the world over as “Tricky Dick?” I wasn’t completely sure, but I felt much better after realizing it was almost item by item the same recipe my Grandmother used. I guess it was, like many recipes of the era, extensively passed around. Ya gotta love those tried and true recipes. Sold.
This recipe was originally published in the Washington Post, Hints from Heloise, in 1961, and reprinted in 2010. It seems like there was an error in the amount of butter, so I was glad I had Grandma’s recipe to compare it with. I did a bit of adapting and included the changes in my recipe, below.
The recipe didn’t specify what kind of nuts to use in the bread. Typically, you’ll see walnuts, pecans or Brazilian nuts, or a mixture of them. Use whatever you’d like. Keep in mind that very hard nuts will not be quite as easy to chew as the nuts that are a bit softer. Almonds would be an example of one of the harder nuts. Peanuts, which aren’t really a nut, aren’t really complimentary to the dates.
Did you know that most quick bread is even better if tightly wrapped and refrigerated overnight? The texture improves and overall it just seems moister. It is a little bit counter-intuitive, but give it a try with any quick bread and see if you don’t agree. It was the case with Pat Nixons Date Nut bread.
My final conclusion after more than a few tastes? Tricky Dick might not have ever had my full confidence, but Pat is a different story!
Save time on Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
Like most of these old-fashioned recipes, Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread makes two loaves. I suppose the ordeal of baking was a lot more strenuous, and families were usually larger, so a baker would want to maximize their time. I love it because if I’m taking a loaf of Date Nut Bread somewhere, I have one to bring and one to keep, or if it’s for home, one for now and one to freeze for later. If you’d rather cut the recipe in half, don’t sweat the slight discrepancies in the measurements. Date Nut Bread is not so particular that you can’t just guesstimate the sugar and flour measurements.
Save Money on Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
I nearly forgot my shopping tips for Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread! Any dried fruits or nuts are at their low during the time period around the Christmas holidays. Stock up then! Since my store stopped doubling coupons, I don’t use them as much but I do tend to start to gather them or print online and use them around Thanksgiving and Christmas, or a few weeks before Easter. It really is the best time to buy most baking goods and items and that makes it a little more worthwhile. The producers put out scads of coupons and the stores have great sales.
Both nuts and dried fruits are at their lowest price during the fall/winter season. Keep the nuts in the freezer where they’ll stay fresh for ages. If the dried fruit is in flimsy packaging, put them in a Ziploc. Aldi and Costco both have very good prices on nuts, too, all year round. Dried fruit seems to be pretty hit and miss at Aldi, but I do see it at Costco. And if you don’t have either of those options, take a peek around your store and see if the bulk items are a little less pricey.Print
Pat Nixon’s Date Nut Bread
An old-fashioned date nut bread, moist and flavorful.
- Yield: 2 loaves
- 1 pound packaged dates
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cut dates into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add baking soda to boiling water and pour over dates in bowl. Set aside and let mixture stand. You will be using both the dates and the soaking water in the recipe.
With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg. Strain water from the date mixture into the cream, sugar and egg mixture. Add flour and beat well. Add nuts, dates, and vanilla.
Pour the mixture into greased 8 x 4″ loaf pans. Bake for one hour in a 350 F oven.
Makes 2 loaves and freezes beautifully
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 235
- Sugar: 40g
- Sodium: 16mg
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
I’ll be linking Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread to Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this is Number 132! Many of my fave bloggers hang out there every weekend and this week’s co-hosts are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting With Friends! It’s always a fun line up of bloggers and linkers.