This is a delicious breakfast (or snack) bread that gets flavor from not only cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; but also orange juice and orange liqueur. The ingredient list looks long; but it’s just all the spices, and it goes together quickly. The spices make it super tasty, and it smells wonderful coming from the oven. The original recipe is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back To Basics.
2 cups coarsely chopped dates (10 oz. pitted)
1/3 cup orange liqueur (like Cointreau or Triple Sec)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temp)
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup orange juice
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a bread loaf pan. Combine the dates and orange liqueur in a small bowl and set aside.
Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, and mix together at medium for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl down; and with the mixer on low, add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients and orange juice, mixing until just combined. Stir the dates (with the liquid), and pecans in by hand.
Pour the bread batter into the loaf pan, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 1 loaf.