Thursday, December 23, 2010
Date Nut Bars: A Christmas Classic from “Ann Pillsbury”
A few posts ago I told you about Sue’s mom’s Christmas cookies. Just a day after I posted it, the postman brought us a box containing . . . Sue’s mom’s Christmas cookies!
Here’s the first one we chomped: Date Nut Bars!
They’re cakey and chewy and a little crumbly. Not too sweet. And they look great, too.
They’re ex-cel-lent with coffee and tea!!! (Three exclamation points = Big emphasis!)
Mrs. F. says to double this for a 10×15 inch pan, or a 9×12. And yes, you’ll want to make plenty.
Date Nut Bars
“Developed by Ann Pillsbury.”
“Easy and quick to make! Chewy and moist to eat!”
“Makes 2 dozen.”
Bake at 350 degrees for 25–30 minutes.
3/4 c. sifted Pillsbury’s Best Enriched Flour*
1/2 t. double-acting baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar; mix well.
2 well-beaten eggs
2 T melted butter
1 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped [Mrs. F. uses pecans!]
1 c. dates, cut in small pieces
* “If you use Pillsbury’s Best Enriched Self-Rising Flour (sold in parts of the South), omit baking powder and salt.”
A Few Notes
Mrs. Ferber got the recipe from a vintage Pillsbury cookie cookbook from the fifties: Pillsbury’s Best Butter Cookie Cookbook, volume 2. Hers is a well-loved and well-used cookbook! You can find copies of the publication for sale online.
Originally this cookbook was only 20 cents a copy, but now it and volume 3 of the same book are selling for $10–13 for a decent copy. (Hey, Pillsbury! Maybe it’s time to think about a special vintage-reprint edition, with all the same cool artwork, typesetting, and recipes, just modified slightly where your products have changed?) (I mean, look what Better Homes and Gardens recently did—they’re offering a glorious facsimile edition of their 1950 Picture Cookbook! What a cool thing, huh?)
Not thinking I was ever going to quote it for anything but my own use, I didn’t copy the recipe word-for-word. So Capital “T” means tablespoon; lowercase “t” means teaspoon. The original had that kinda stuff spelled out. I did copy the important points of the recipe. It’s from p. 36.
By the way, I’m pretty sure that “Ann Pillsbury” is a myth, like Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima, and Mrs. Butterworth. (Duncan Hines, however, was indeed a real person!)
Finally, my blog-formatting skills don’t allow me to reproduce the unique and helpful two-column typesetting pioneered in the original publication. If you can find a copy, you’ll see it’s pretty neat.