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Author Notes: Though I made quick breads year-round, I always save date-nut bread for the holidays. The sweet dates, zesty orange, and spicy cloves make it smell and taste like Christmas. I like to bake them in mini-porcelain baking dishes, then wrap them in cellophane and tie them with a bow. That way the recipient can enjoy the baking dish well after the holidays are over. —Food Blogga
Serves 4 mini-loaves
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 large eggs, plus 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- zest of 1 large orange (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup pitted, coarsely chopped Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 4 (5 X 3- inch) mini-loaf pans/tins with cooking spray. Adjust the number of pans accordingly based on the size you use. Just remember, with smaller pans, baking time will be shorter; with a larger loaf pan, baking time will be longer, by about 15 minutes.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, orange juice, and orange zest.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, mix until just incorporated. Fold in the dates and pecans. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.
- Since breads bake more quickly using small pans, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Edible Gift