Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Brunch: Date Nut Muffins (or Bread)

Twenty-some years ago, someone gave me this recipe.  For years it was a favorite, but then I eliminated wheat from my diet. Recently, my sister-in-law Roxanna mentioned how much she liked making this for special occasions.  I decided to try it with gluten-free flour and xanthan gum.  It can be made as muffins or bread.


Serves 8


1 cup chopped dates

1 tsp instant espresso coffee

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cup gluten-free or white flour

1 tsp xanthan gum (if gluten-free flour is used)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup pecans, broken coarsely


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour muffin tins or (8x4 inch loaf pan). 


In a bowl, sprinkle baking soda and instant coffee over dates.  Pour boiling water over the dates and coffee.  Stir and set aside to cool. 


Beat butter until creamy, then add sugar and continue beating until well blended.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg and salt together. Add beaten egg to the butter and sugar mixture.  In another separate bowl, sift together flour, xanthan gum and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients alternately with the date mixture to the creamed sugar, adding dry ingredients first and last. When blended, add pecans and bourbon. 


Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 325 degrees until done when tested with a toothpick.  If you make muffins, it will take between 30 and 45 minutes depending on size.  A loaf of bread will take between 70 and 90 minutes.  If you use mini muffin pans, watch them carefully since they can be dry if overcooked.