Quit pretending the muffin-shaped cake you picked up this morning is doing you any nutritional favors, and try these date walnut muffins from Mad Hungry Cravings. Whole wheat flour makes them filling, dates make them sweet. Add walnuts for crunch and you're good to go.
'dates' on Serious Eats
Given that I came of age in what I call the Food With Stuff Hidden Inside It Era—including but not limited to stuffed crust pizza, hot pockets, Pop Tarts, Hostess cupcakes, and Gushers—it's not a surprise that I like these cookies, which use a tangy rugelach dough to conceal a blend of vanilla-scented dates.
I'll warn you now that these make me think of silly romantic things like warm summer sunsets over the Aegean. But hey, honey + Medjool dates will do that to you.
Raw sweets, like the more popular no-bake desserts, rely on a hint of magic to transform plain ingredients into something awesome. The trick here is that a mixture of dates, carrots, raisins, and walnuts tastes almost scarily like carrot cake muffins.
The last time I was at my parent's house, I decided to do a little search and rescue operation through my mother's old recipe hoard. I was in need of inspiration, and she needed someone to pull the trigger on Easy Microwave Cooking. Between a recipe for Dutch Apple Cake (keep) and Tricolor Bean Casserole (toss), I found a recipe for Baba Rum's Date Caps.
If something has dates in it, I'll probably buy it. It's kind of like Beyoncé and sequins: We just can't help ourselves. I love that dates are such concentrated flavor vehicles. They satisfy my sweet tooth while seeming relatively healthy. The one catch is that baked goods containing dates can unfortunately be hit or miss. Too often the dates inside my scone or muffin are hard little nuggets that give dried figs a run for their money in the "I so want you to be good but alas you taste like a rock" category.
All summer long I interrupted serious conversations about bills and travel and getting ready for the move to New York, cooing dreamily, "Wouldn't a date cake with bacon be so ahhh-maaaazing?" I was a girl smitten with a confectionary Prince Charming, this close to doodling "I heart bacon" and "Mrs. Medjool" on my binder.
Giant billboards herald "World Famous Date Shakes" for more than 60 miles along a lonely Interstate 8 between Yuma and Gila Bend, Arizona. Date shakes have been served at this popular pit stop since the 1920s. The recipe is simple: Fresh Medjool dates that are boiled then smashed and blended with vanilla ice cream.