On their own, dates don't have a lot of appeal. These palm fruits travel from afar, so when we get our hands on them they're often just sticky, cloyingly sweet and somehow always show up at Christmas functions (even though they weren't invited). We know why the date has such a bad rap, but we have to admit that it's not wholly deserved. Dates have many great qualities as an ingredient in the kitchen and it's time the world knew about them.
Dates are wonderful stuffed and wrapped with bacon (obviously). They make a lovely pairing with a hearty lamb dish. And, more importantly, they're a great alternative to sugar in dessert recipes. Grounded into a paste, they can easily be added to cakes, brownies and even ice cream. You won't miss the cane sugar for a second in these wonderfully sweet, almost healthy recipes.
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