We love traditional holiday baking, but we’re also fond of taking shortcuts when the season gets a little hectic. These festive treats yield a pretty plate, but don’t require an entire afternoon in the kitchen.
Date Nut Slices
■ 1/2 cup chopped nuts (use your favorite variety or a combination of almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios and pecans)
■ 1 1/2 cups chopped dates
■ 1 tablespoon butter
■ 4-5 butter crackers, coarsely crushed
In medium skillet toast the nuts over medium heat until they just begin to brown. Remove nuts from the skillet to cool.
In same skillet, melt the tablespoon of butter. Add the chopped dates and cook, stirring, until they begin to melt and form a thick paste-like mixture. Stir in the nuts, followed by the crackers.
Stir until moisture is absorbed and nuts are evenly distributed. Roll into a log the diameter of a paper towel roll. Wrap in plastic wrap, slide inside empty paper towel tube and chill for 20-30 minutes. Cut into ¼-inch slices and store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.