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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Easy-to-Make Vintage Confection

Do you remember last month when I noted that some of my groceries would be used to make a vintage recipe? I said at the time that it was for a 1940s treat. I was mistaken. This is a recipe from WW1. It's from the cookbook Win the War, by Reah Jeannette Lynch, published 1918. I found it on, page 122 in a section on saving sugar.

I finally made this treat this afternoon. They're chocolate-dipped dried fruit.

Bitter Sweets (my batch yielded 11 candies)

I used 1 ounce of Baker's 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate, and 5 1/2 pitted dates.

I cut each date in half lengthwise to maximize chocolate coverage. 

Next I microwaved the chocolate in a custard cup in short bursts (15-30 seconds), stirring periodically.

Once it was completely melted, I used a fork to dip each date half, turning to coat the underside as well. The dipped dates hardened on a sheet of waxed paper.

I loved these. The dates gave just enough sweetness to the confection, while still allowing the dark chocolate flavor to come through. I appreciated that there is no added sugar, and the dates provide fiber and minerals in a piece of candy.

If you enjoy very dark chocolate, this may be just up your alley. And if you're counting calories, one ounce of unsweetened chocolate contains 140 calories, and 5 1/2 dates contain 126 calories, total. So each piece of candy has 24 calories.

If you make this recipe, please come back and share your opinion on these vintage confections.


  1. Those are two ingredients that I don't usually have on hand, but I might have to get them. I'm trying to cut back on sugar and maybe this would help in satisfying my sweet tooth in a better way than a lot of other choices.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I sometimes have dates but don't usually have unsweetened chocolate on hand. I did buy that just for this recipe, as I really wanted to try these. Maybe you recall that for Christmas, one of my family members gave me some unsweetened chocolate and honey-mint candies. I really enjoyed those, so I thought I would also like these unsweetened chocolate and dried fruit candies. Anyway, if you try them, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. My family, by the way, all tried them too. They all said they were very good.

  2. I told my dd about these because she really watches how much sugar she eats. She said she’s been seeing them on the internet lately. I guess people stuff the dates with peanut butter these days. She’s going to try them.


    1. Hi Diane,
      These are really delicious, so chocolatey, and very easy to make. I hope your daughter gives them a try.

  3. Hmm, I do have dates in my pantry. I might have to give this a try sometime. One of the appetizers that I have taken to Christmas parties is stuffed pitted dates with cream cheese (or Neufatchel cheese, in my case) and topping with a nut (walnuts or pecans both work well here). It's sort of a similar idea in that the dates provide enough sweetness to make you feel like you are getting a treat, and the other ingredient(s) balance out the sweetness.

    I checked a cookbook out of the library several months ago--it was for making desserts using no sugar. I thought it would be using pureed dates and was intrigued, but instead, it used lots of hard-to-source items and took a bazillion different steps and lots of time to produce the dessert. I returned that book post haste. :)

    1. Hi Kris,
      Your stuffed dates treat remind me of something my mother made for her bridge group, cream cheese stuffed dates (no nut topping). She piped the softened cream cheese filling into a long slit down the center of the date. Is this how you get the cream cheese inside? We (the kids) got to try them, and I remember them tasting a lot like cheesecake, but with no extra sugar added.

      What a disappointment in that cookbook from the library. I'd return it pronto, too.

      I'll be making a bigger batch of these unsweetened chocolate-covered dates when my son and daughter-in-law come over later this month. My daughter-in-law avoids refined sugar, but I'm pretty sure she'd enjoy these.

    2. If I were fancier, I'd pipe it in, but I just spooned it into the dates. You could definitely do this without a nut topping. I think snacks using dates is a good way to get a sweet treat while staying healthy with your diet.

    3. Kris, I am the same way with getting a sweet treat with dried fruit, like dates. I really do feel like I've had something more decadent with these dates. Thanks for your info on spooning in the cream cheese.


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