On a rainy Sunday afternoon I decided to whip up a few ingredients I had in my pantry to create this delicious Date Nut Spice Bread. It is perfectly paired with hot tea and your favorite book.
While this nutty bread is baking in the oven, it fills your kitchen with a warm and spicy aroma that will enlighten even the rainiest of afternoons.
Oh and did I mention that the dates are drunk with triple sec?
Date Nut Spice Bread
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (3 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottom of your preferred loaf pan.
Combine the dates and orange liqueur in a small bowl and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With the mixer still on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating only until combined. By hand, stir in the dates with their liquid, and the pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten