Church dinner serves up delicious dessert

Robin McDaniel
A Hawaiian Spread makes this date nut bread a special treat.

A Hawaiian Spread makes this date nut bread a special treat.

I got to sample a wonderful dessert that was served at a ladies function at Cedar Point Church in Maryville. This recipe is from the kitchen of Duane Lea. Many thanks to her for sharing it with us. In addition to a great dessert, date nut bread is a perfect accompaniment to chicken salad. One of the most popular lunches at Apple Cake Tea Room in Knoxville is their chicken salad, date nut bread with a cream cheese spread and a bowl of glazed fruit.

As the days get cooler, just sit back with a cup of coffee or hot tea and enjoy this recipe as a special treat.

Date Nut Bread with Hawaiian Spread

(From the kitchen of Duane Lea)

1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp. soda

3/4 cup boiling water

1 egg, separated

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon butter, melted

pinch of salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/4 cups plain flour

Sprinkle soda over dates. Pour boiling water over dates and soda. In another bowl, add egg yolk, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix well by hand.

Once the water that has been poured over the dates and soda has cooled -- at least to lukewarm -- pour it over the egg/sugar mixture.

Beat the egg white until stiff. To the egg/sugar mixture, add the dates, nuts, flour and egg white. Stir by hand until well blended.

Bake in loaf pan that has been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Hawaiian Spread

1 (8 oz.) container soft cream cheese

2 tablespoons apricot, peach or pineapple preserves

1/3 cup flaked coconut

Mix cream cheese and preserves until well blended. Add coconut and mix well. Serve with date nut bread slices.

This will yield 1 1/3 cups.

(You can substitute 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce for the preserves.)

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