I made up another recipe this last weekend because I was in the mood for baking and not in the mood to go to the store! We had our first “cold front,” a misnomer in Texas, float through. In other words, it was in the 50s in the morning and upper 80s in the afternoon! Why do I always feel like baking when the weather transitions? Not only do I want to bake, but experiment as well! The recipe I found called for dates, which I didn’t have, so I used prunes. It called for walnuts, which I didn’t have, so I used pecans. It called for cooking oil, which I didn’t have, so I used softened butter. And I substituted gluten free flour for regular flour. You can substitute any dried fruit on hand like dried chopped apricots and add lemon zest, or dried chopped apples and add cinnamon and nutmeg, or dried chopped mango and add lime zest and lime juice. Let your taste buds and pantry dictate combinations! Combine: 2 full cups of chopped dried prunes, 4 T butter, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 cup boiling water. Allow to cool. Whisk together (do not use a mixer) and then add: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans, and 2 eggs. Add to wet ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon till well blended. Bake in prepared one loaf pan (55-60 minutes), or four mini pans (35-40 minutes), or muffin tins (25-30 minutes) lined with paper at 350.

Which dried fruit and nut combinations are your favorite?

1. Dried apricot, roasted cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice for vanilla

2. Dried apples, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla

3. Dried mango, hazel nut, lime zest, lime juice

Let your tastebuds dictate your combinations!

Suggested Dried Fruit and Nut Substitutions

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