Sunday, August 28, 2011


My sister is smarter than your sister. My parents are funnier than your parents. My cousins are prettier than your cousins. My grandparents are wiser than your grandparents. And my family recipes taste better than your family recipes. That's the way it is; deal with it.

It had been months since I saw my cousins and grandparents, so my day in rural New York last weekend was much appreciated. In the afternoon, I lay out in the sun with my cousins with vinegar in my hair (note: we smelled like salad, but it didn't lighten our hair) and the next morning, I made corn fritters with my grandma. Corn fritters are one family recipe I've already shared with you. They're less like pancakes than like fluffy piles of tender sweet corn. When touched with a fork, a fritter should fall apart and ooze maple syrup.  

I tried Date Nut Chocolate Bit Squares for the first time while I was there. Apparently my dad and his brother and sister were basically raised on these bars. DNCBS look like brownies, but one bite tells you it's not a brownie. These bars are light and cakey with a crown of currants, chocolate, and nuts. Try them and they'll become your own family recipe.

Nanny's Date Nut Chocolate Bit Squares (DNCBS)

1 3/4 c regular flour
2 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 c chopped dates
1 c boiling water
1 t baking soda
1/2 lb butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 c mini chocolate chips
1 c currants
1 c chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x13 in pan. Stir together flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together chopped dates, boiling water, and baking soda. Let the dates cool while you cream the butter with the sugar in a third bowl. Add to the butter the eggs and vanilla, then flour mixture. Stir in date mixture. Pour batter into the greased pan. Top with currants, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts. Bake at 325 for 35 to 45 minutes. 

1 comment:

  1. WHAT?! You tried DNCBS for the FIRST time? That's insane! They are a major--and delicious--part of your heritage. Like corn fritters, but other side of the family.