Grandma’s date nut roll

Grandma made boxes of this delicious candy-type treat for all the members of the family every Christmas. She would slice them thin and pack them in tissue paper nestled in a big box. These were such a huge treat, as we had them only once a year. I thought the recipe had died with her but thanks to Robyn over at, her recipe is now safely tucked away in my cookbook and I make it at Christmas in her memory.

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 8 – 10 ounces dried dates, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Stir milk, sugar and ½ cup (1 stick) of butter together in a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add dates. Stir constantly while cooking until the temperature reaches 235 on a candy thermometer or when drops of the mixture into a bowl of cold water reach a soft ball stage.
  3. Remove from heat and add ½ cup (1 stick) of butter and vanilla. Beat until starts to thicken and add chopped pecans.
  4. Divide onto four baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Carefully spread across parchment paper to form a roll. Roll smoothly and cool completely before slicing.

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