Cooking, Food, Recipe

Date-Walnut Muffins

When you start out the day with a vista like this, cold, gray, and a layer of fresh snow on frozen ground, but not enough to be a glistening white blanket of winter wonderland… that’s when you need something special.

The hayfield across the road.

I was standing in the kitchen contemplating what to do for breakfast when the First Reader wandered in, clutching his coffee cup, leaned over, and whispered in my ear: “Muffins.”

Muffins it is. Only since I knew we would spend the bulk of our morning dealing with pitching wood into a neat stack in the basement, as I’d ordered a cord to be delivered that day, I wanted muffins with substance.

Stack of wood. Satisfying to see it all neatly there, easy to keep the family warm on cold winter days and nights.

So I puttered through the pantry getting ingredients together, chatting with family as they woke up – it’s so lovely to have a big kitchen with the island we can all hang out around without tripping over them while I cook.

Muffins fresh and piping hot.

I used a base recipe from Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food which is, yes, my most-used cookbook. Second place goes to my Meta-Givens Encyclopedia. I did alter it a little, because I always do. You’ll find my full recipe, printable, at the bottom.

Date-Walnut Muffins, deliciously warm and served with butter and honey. Accompany with a large mug of coffee, tea, or cocoa. 

This recipe is not very sweet at all. We wound up discovering that a little drizzle of honey is delectable on them. You could add more sugar to the base… but I wouldn’t.

Date-Walnut Muffins


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar (try it with brown)
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c plain yogurt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped dates
  • 3/4 c walnut meal


  • Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Get out 12 muffin cups (I have both individual silicone cups, and pans, so it varies)
  • In one bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and yogurt, whisking together until homogeneous.
  • In another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and powder, and the salt.
  • Take a little of the flour mixture and sprinkle it over the dates as you chop them, to keep them from sticking to one another and the knife. This reduces clumping when you stir them in.
  • Put the dates, walnut meal, and flour mixture into the wet bowl, and stir JUST until it is combined. Do not stir more, or you lose the tender muffin magic.
  • Scoop (this is very thick batter) into muffin cups, about half-filling them.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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    2 thoughts on “Date-Walnut Muffins

    1. They look yummy, I will have to find walnut meal, and surprise SWMBO when she comes home from work. And of course since I cannot leave well enough alone, I might start with chopped dried apricots. And maybe a maple glaze…..

      Figured you know this but, be aware that sometimes insect guests in firewood become active when it is moved indoors.

      I was thinking about your post of housekeeping in space in the Mad Genius Club, and thinking about my time in the Navy, the term swab jockeys was apt.

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