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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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »