Bourbon Date Shake Boozesicles

After making my last batch of boozesicles I was feeling creative and took to the bar cart to see what other concoctions I could get into. I picked up the bourbon because it’s my husband’s fave and because he not so subtly requested it. We have a few pounds of dates left over from our trip to the date farm and I thought those would probably taste really good with bourbon. In fact when ever I mention making a recipe with dates he’s all “…with bourbon?”. He loves date shakes so, BOURBON DATE SHAKE…POPSICLE.Bourbon Date Shake BoozesiclesThese turned out just as I’d hoped. They’re creamy and they have little chunks of dates, just like a date shake spiked with bourbon.

Ingredients (4 standard sized popsicles)

5 large medjool dates
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used Silk Original)
4 tbsp simple syrup

In a small sauce pan, warm bourbon over a low flame. Roughly chop the dates and toss them in to the bourbon. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand to cool. The dates plump up and the bourbon gets all syrupy and delicious.
Next, blend the almond milk, the dates, 4 tbsp of the infused bourbon, and 4 tbsp simple syrup in a blender (or with an immersion blender). Pour into molds and freeze for at least 5 hours or until solid.

Bourbon Date Shake Boozesicles

Super Simple Date Nut Cake Recipe

Remember all those dates I bought during a trip to Shields Date Garden? I’ve already been putting them to use, and not just by shoving them into my mouth and spitting out the pits like a semi-automatic weapon. I’ve been using them in recipes, like this cake recipe I found in vintage community church cookbook from 1953. Dates were all the rage back in the day.

This cake is moist, sweet, and nutty. It’s like a coffee cake or banana bread in flavor and consistency.

Date Nut Cake

The recipe is super easy and requires almost no skill. You basically just dump everything in a bowl and bake it.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped dates (medjool dates are perfect. They’re soft and sweet)
1 cup chopped nuts (The original recipe calls for walnuts. I used pecans. Almonds also work well.)
1 cup hot water
1 level tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

In a bowl, pour hot water over dates and nuts. Let cool while making the rest of the cake. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg, date/nut/water mixture, baking soda, and flour. Mix well and pour into cake or bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Date Nut Cake

 

Sidenote: How cute is my new cake stand from Oh Joy for Target?

Date Nut Cake

 

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Day Tripping: A Visit to Shields Date Garden in Indio, CA

In my world weekends are reserved for day trips and adventures. We wake up, grab coffee, pick a place to go, and road trip it there. California is perfect for day trippers and weekenders. We have mountains, desert, beaches, and big cities to visit, all within driving distance. One of my favorite things to do is stop at kitschy, classic American roadside attractions. One of my other favorite things to do is buy local food from the cities we visit. We got in the car and drove out to Indio, a desert city about 23 miles east of Palm Springs, and home of the date.

Even though I’d driven past this place tons of times, I’d never been in. Shields Date Gardens is the place to be! You’ll know you’ve arrived by the amazing knight in shining armor sign that stands virtually the same as it did in the 50s.

Shields Date FarmWhen you first walk in you’ll see ALL OF THE DATES. Boxes and boxes of dates. Date candy, date shakes, medjool dates, blonde dates, brunette dates, date mix, date sugar….I’m starting to sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump BUT IT’S TRUE.

Shields Date Gardens Shields Date Gardens

Shields Date Farm Shakes

Date Shakes from Shields Date Garden

Grab a date shake and head in to the theater to watch “The Romance and Sex Life of a Date”, an interesting 15 minute lecture about the cultivation of a date. It features vintage slides, footage, and a soundtrack recorded by Mr. Shields himself.

Romance and Sex Life of the Date

After that you can tour the gardens by walking along the guided path. It’s beautiful and there are lovely flowers and fruit trees along the way. It’s really Jesus-y, which was unexpected, as the entire path walks you through the life of Jesus. But it’s a great walk that everyone can enjoy with nice views and you get a close glimpse of where the delicious dates come from.

Shields Date Garden Shields Date Garden, Indio, CA Date Trees

On your way out you can hit the cafe or hit up the gift shop. I took home a 5lb box of fancy medjool dates. Look how excited I am.

Shields Date Garden Indio, CA

I can’t let all of these dates go to waste so this week I’ll be posting my favorite date recipes.

Dates

Stay tuned.