Christmas Gift #6

I had a terrible, absolutely terrible day at work this week.   What to do but come home and bake?

I decided I really wanted to explore my antique cookbooks for other great foodie gifts.   I started out this project with Butterscotch Drops from a 1959 Farm Journal cookbook.   I reached for an old Fannie Farmer book but basically it was only full of gingerbread in the cookie section.   I then grabbed an old Amy Vanderbilt one (because I love that Andy Warhol illustrated it), but again I was disappointed in the cookie section.  Finally, I settled on a 1972 edition of Best Recipes from the Cook Book Guild. There I found a recipe for Wine Date Cake Squares.   It looked super easy, so I gave it a go.

I have scanned in the exact recipe, but here is my revision.

Wine Fruit ‘n Nut Squares

1/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 c. dried cherries
1 c. pecan halves (or pieces)
1 c. sweet white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and beat until blended.   In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and spices.   Add cherries and nuts and to dry ingredients and toss to mix.

Alternately, add flour/fruit/nut mixture and wine to butter/egg/sugar mixture, beating well after each.

Pour out batter into a prepared 9 x 12 pan.  Bake 30 minutes.

Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.   Cut into squares.

Here is the original:

Since the the recipe suggests serving these at teatime, I think the perfect gift would be to pair this cake with some favorite teas.

Tazo Focus is my new favorite tea. It has a hint of cocoa. I also love Numi!

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7 comments to Christmas Gift #6

  • What a great idea for a bring-along… these squares look delish and I also like how you put up the recipe book page – looks great!

  • Ann

    What a great idea! I like that you scanned the original so we could see it! I’m a HUGE fan of antique and vintage cookbooks, too! This looks absolutely delicious!

  • Because of you, when I go antiquing, I look for old cookbooks. Doesnt it make you feel like you are a part of the past? The tea looks like a great way to enjoy this cake. I think I would prefer coffee. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Ha-my bag of dates seems to be growing and I have a very large bottle of wine on the counter that is begging to be used or drank! Glad you posted this one-I have saved the recipe. Love the flavor combo-have a wonderful Monday!

  • wow i love all the flavours combine together.. my kind of mid-day snack with a cup to tea.. ah that’s life

  • I like the idea of the cake and tea gift basket, how charming (I’m going to have to steal that one). Vintage cookbooks are so fun I love it when you share them.

  • My husband and I rarely drink — he can’t because of medication, and at home, I don’t want to open a bottle of wine just for myself. So when we get wine bottles as gifts, I sort of just put them away and forget I have them. This recipe is perfect for me! I do have a number of red wines too, I’m wondering if the recipe would work with those, though I guess the end product might not be sweet enough?