Today would have been my mom’s 79th birthday. She’s been gone for many years, and I still miss her every day.
Mom was a Christmas person. She didn’t do a great deal of baking during the year, but at Christmas she pulled out all the stops. She baked cookies and made candy and sweet breads. She made a sticky date nut roll that either came out perfectly or had to be peeled off the wax paper in gooey chunks. But she made it every year, always hoping for the best.
I haven’t had that date nut roll in years, but I’ve been going through my recipes this week and reminiscing. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, to make Mom’s date nut roll, to see if I could make it come out perfectly, in her honor. Alas, I can’t find it. Maybe I never had that one.
I turned to Google and came up with this one, though:
Date Nut Roll
3 1/2 C. Sugar
1 C. Milk
1/4 C. Butter or Margarine
1 16 oz. pkg. Pitted Dates
1 C. Chopped Pecans
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
-Combine sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves.
-Cover and cook over medium hear for 2-3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from the sides of the pan.
-Uncover and continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (240°).
-Cool to lukewarm (110°).
-Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture thickens and cools.
-Sift powdered sugar on a linen towel.
-Divide mixture into two portions and shape each portion into two rolls, each
1 1/2″ in diameter.
-Wrap in towels.
-Let stand until set, then cut into 1/2″ thick slices.
As far as I can tell its Mom’s recipe; although, I don’t think she used a candy thermometer, and that probably explains why it only turned out perfectly about 20% of the time.
Will I give it a go and try to make this Christmas treat? I kind of feel Mom urging me to do just that.