Friday, November 30, 2012

Date Nut Roll Candy


I spent my twenties and thirties trying to be hip and stay current with hairstyles, clothing trends and life in general.

I hit my forties and suddenly everything is about my childhood…LOL  Go figure.  

The "remember when" moments are everywhere. Trends do tend to repeat themselves and maybe this is why I feel so nostalgic suddenly.

It used to be the music.  I would hear a song and was immediately sent back to 1985 and the homecoming dance or 1988 on my wedding day.

Now it's with almost everything I do and see, especially food.

Digging through some old recipes I found two date nut roll recipes; one with a name of Virginia Washam.  This used to be my grandmothers best friend a long long long time ago.

With this one name I was taken back to my days spent at the lake (Lake Isabella in CA), to the Washam's home (they lived below my grandparents) and a whole slew of memories came flying back.

This nut roll was made every year. I fondly remember the rolls in the refrigerator each holiday season.  My grandmother would wrap them in cotton towels and pull them out at night so that we could each have a slice.

It was sweet.

It was nutty.

It is a wonderful memory.

I wasn't sure if my own kids would enjoy this treat.  They have had dates before and so I thought they would not mind the combination. I was right. The first log was gone.  I gave the second log to a dear friend because she too had a memory of this being made in her home.

Once again, I am reminded of the connection that holidays and food has on a family.  Most of us have long forgotten the toys that were brought to us by Santa but somehow we can remember the scents of the home, the smells coming from the kitchen and our favorite cookies and candy.

Enjoy your time with the families and friends that fill our home this season.  

Recipe: Date Nut Roll Candy

1 cup of dates,  chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt

In a small sauce pan add sugar, milk, dates and sugar.  Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads Soft Ball Stage or 234-236 degrees.

Remove from heat.

Add nuts and stir.  Candy will get thick.

On a clean cotton towel or a piece of wax paper, sprinkle confectioner's sugar on one side.

Plop candy in a row on one side (like a log).

Using your hands, flip over the wax paper or towel and form the candy into a log.

Roll up candy and store in the refrigerator.  Candy will become firm after cooling.

Slice and serve. 



  1. What a lovely candy!! Looks beautiful :)

  2. I enjoy the lovely personal stories you always frame your recipes with...and this really sounds delicious!

  3. Oooh I bet my mom would love this! Thanks!

  4. So glad I found your blog and this recipe. My mom use to make this every Christmas. She passed away 3 years and seeing this brought back such wonderful memories. I would help her roll it out and wait patiently for it to harden so we could slice it! One gift I received when I was 3 was a Kissy doll...push her arms together and she puckers up! I still have her and she sits in a little rocker in my craft room...WOW...seeing this post brought back a flood of memories...THANK YOU!

  5. So wonderful, and every bite took me back to my Mother who has been gone for 32 years. This candy was wonderful.

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  13. There was a recipe similar to this in one of my mom's cookbooks when I was growing up. I think it was a Better Homes and Garden. Peanut Butter roll, that had a molasses, coconut and nuts coating. It was so good! How I wish I could still go to that cookbook for recipes!

  14. WOW. . .this is very similar to the one my mom used to make (and I continue to make) every holiday . . . your blog (on this recipe) is heartfelt!

  15. I do not see when to add the dates on your recipe, I could be over looking it. I believe you have to cook the dates til they dissolve, so i'm going to add them to the cooking process.

    1. Hi Wendy, thank you for pointing this out and you are correct. I have updated the recipe. You would add the dates at the same time you add the milk and sugar. I hope you enjoy the candy.

  16. My mother made something simular to this not sure if it had dates in it...she beat and beat and beated it like crazy!!

  17. Woww what an idea. Its looks delicious..


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