Finally a recipe showed up today that made me question substituting prunes every time dates are called for.
This was enough for me to go out and buy a bag of dates and experiment with recipes I know well and are extremely fast.
Unfortunately there is a much greater difference than I expected. And in many desserts whereas prunes were getting the job done, dates would clearly make the end result better.
I realize prunes aren't ones to talk, but dates are ugly. No wonder they are always at the stores, sitting expensively by themselves, rolled in some topping.
I made sure to try one plain before getting started, and thought the taste was more or less fine. Dates are considerably sweeter, so much so that I am not sure I would just stand around eating them plain which I do all the time with prunes. I wasn't a huge fan of the texture. It has that similar sugar-grainy texture like dried pineapples or old raisins.
I first made the Cashew Cookies which have been my current favorite as far as quick, uncooked snacks.
I make it true to her recipe. I cut the recipe in half and did the date version first (right side). I do add chocolate chips (although today it was pieces of my chocolate bar). The date version was definitely sweeter and I would easily eat either.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. I was living on this recipe for awhile until the cashews came along and I decided to branch out. I always substitute unsweetened coconut for the 2 tablespoons of peanuts.
The date version (also on the right side) of this recipe was WAY better. Alarmingly so. It took this snack and brought it up to a dessert. Both taste good, but I have created a monster now that I know what the date version tastes like - I am not sure I would make the prune version again.
For many of the fudge babies using prunes will still work fine, but for things like raw crusts, or in today's case a blondie recipe I would say dates are the clear choice. If it wasn't for the line-up of baking projects and sales I have coming up I would probably be making the Chocolate-Chip Cookie Pie Without Sugar right now - although mine would still have sugar if it needed sweetening beyond the dates.