Cream Cheese Spread with Dates & Drambuie

Growing up with a father that was passionate gardener and owned a small date orchard near by home, meant picking fresh dates off the trees and eating lots of it. We had so much dates that my dad would always take some to our friends and family.

Eating dates was a regular part of our diet. Every day after lunch we had yogurt with dates and even though I didn’t appreciate it then, these days eating yogurt and dates is a treat that it's nostalgic with lots of health benefit ;) 

So I'm always on the lookout for recipes that uses dates. Today I came across a sweet and salty spread on the Sift /King Arthur magazine that is made out of date, cream cheese, walnuts, and it's flavored with orange zest and brandy/Drambuie. The saltiness of cream cheese blends so well with the sweetness of dates and Drambuie making this spread exceptionally delicious and flavorful. You can serve this with crackers for the afternoon snack or in the morning with bagels. I know if my dad was alive, he would totally fell in love with this spread ;)

 

Few things about the recipe: Make sure that you have the cream cheese at room temperature so you won't have any lumps when mixing the spread. The recipe called for brandy, but I often use Drambuie in baking because of its strong and sweet flavor. Drambuie is made from whisky, honey, and spices and gives an incredible taste to any baked good specially this spread. You can use brandy or Drambuie or rum. 

Yields: three 4oz jars  

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brandy, for non-alcoholic use apple cider (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Process:

  1. Combine dates with Drambuie /brandy or apple cider in a small bowl, microwave on high for 30 seconds, smash the dates and mix well and let cool to room temperature while you mix the cream cheese
  2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until no lumps remains. Stir in the zest and juice of the orange, walnuts, and the date mixture and mix on low speed until everything is well mixed. You can store the spread in mason jars or any airtight containers and keep refrigerated.
  3. You can serve this spread with crackers as an appetizers or in the morning with bagels, they're both equally delicious.