Thursday, September 18, 2014

Grandpa's Date Nut Roll

Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
This Date Nut Roll brings me directly back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandpa roll this on the kitchen counter every holiday when we visited. Crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, dates, pecans and a splash of cream: none of these ingredients are remarkable on their own, but when combined they become something special.

I can't recall another occasion for which my grandpa ever worked in the kitchen. However, making the Date Nut Roll was his domain every Christmas. Grandpa passed away when I was just ten years old. When I found this recipe last year and made it for the first time as an adult, it was like I was standing in my grandparents' kitchen once again. Some food memories stick with us more than others, and I am glad I have this one to pass on to my boys.

Date Nut Roll
Yield: 20 pieces
(printable recipe)

12 full size graham crackers, pulsed into crumbs in the blender or food processor, reserve 2 tablespoons for coating
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups finely chopped dates
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 - 2/3 cup heavy cream

Place the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, dates, and pecans in a mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the crumbs. Slowly add the cream, a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine. Add liquid just until the mixture is wet enough to hold together when you press it with a spoon.

Spread two large sheets of parchment or wax paper on the counter and divide the mixture on top of them. Press it into a log with your hands and sprinkle lightly with the remaining crumbs to coat all around. Roll it tightly in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends tightly and chill until firm, at least 2-6 hours. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Pumpkin Muffins {traditional and gluten free}
TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Chipotle Corn and Caramelized Onion Potato Salad
THREE YEARS AGO TODAY: Black Bean, Potato, and Spinach Hash


  1. My grandmother used to make this as well....and I sill have her original recipe. It's a Christmas treat at our house.

  2. what an interesting recipe :) love it

  3. do you know the measurement of the cracker crumbs is??? I have bags of crumbs and don't want to bur a box of crackers. ThANKS

    1. Yes, it's approximately 1 1/2 cups worth of crumbs. Enjoy!

  4. This looks like the recipe I've been looking for that my mom made every year for Christmas. She has passed and this is sure to bring back lots of memories!! Thank you

  5. Wow! This is almost exactly the same as my grandma's recipe. She uses walnuts instead of pecans. I believe my grandma said her mom made it, as well. I've been trying to find out where the recipe originates from. Is it just an American thing?

    1. I love hearing that you have memories of the recipe as well. I have no idea where it originated. My grandfather was making it many years ago and it's become a much loved tradition for our family.