Once upon a time in a city called New York, there was a phenomenon known as a 'lunch counter'. They were all over New York, practically on every corner. The one I remember best from the 1960's was Chock Full o' Nuts, they made that heavenly coffee. A lunch counter is a place where you can sit at the counter and have lunch, there was a shelf under the counter to put a handbag or shopping bag.
I remember it like it was yesterday, sitting at the counter and ordering a Cream Cheese Sandwich on Date Nut Bread. For some reason, Chock Full o' Nuts was famous for that menu item.
When you make it at home, just remember molasses gives the bread that deep dark coloring.
Date Nut Bread:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup dried dates, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
Bring milk just to boiling and add dates. Remove from heat and set aside allowing the dates to soak.
Preheat oven to 325º. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
In a separate bowl combine, eggs, oil and molasses. Mix well.
Gradually add wet ingredients to dry, alternating with the date/milk mixture until dry ingredients are moist and walnuts and dates are distributed throughout.
Pour batter into loaf pan and bake 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely then slather with cream cheese.