Handed down from my great-grandmother, and one of my father's all-time favorite holiday treats. Store in the refrigerator (rolled in the cloth), and it will keep for weeks. Otherwise, it becomes hard and sugary.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
20 mins
additional:
8 hrs
total:
8 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir sugar, milk, and butter together in a saucepan; bring to a boil without stirring once the boiling begins. Heat until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a rigid ball or until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C), about 20 minutes. Immediately remove saucepan from heat and stir dates, pecans, and vanilla into the milk mixture.

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  • Thoroughly wet a piece of cheesecloth and lay out onto a flat work surface. Pour the candy mixture into the middle of the cloth and roll the cloth around it to shape into a log.

  • Refrigerate until hard, 8 hours to overnight. Remove log from cloth and slice.

Cook's Note:

You can use a heavy cotton cloth if you do not have cheesecloth, but do not use terrycloth.

Nutrition Facts

335 calories; protein 2.3g 5% DV; carbohydrates 56.1g 18% DV; fat 13g 20% DV; cholesterol 14.2mg 5% DV; sodium 43.1mg 2% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2016
My grandma Odom use to make this candy. and my mom and aunt also made it every year. They would put it out side in a damp clothes in the cold snow to harden. Now I make it for my kid's and grand kid's.if it does not set up you just get a spoon and dig in.I'm so glad to hear this is still around with other family's. Debbie Read More
(5)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
12/08/2016
I could not get the wet cotton dish towel off the candy roll after cooling. Read More
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2016
My grandma Odom use to make this candy. and my mom and aunt also made it every year. They would put it out side in a damp clothes in the cold snow to harden. Now I make it for my kid's and grand kid's.if it does not set up you just get a spoon and dig in.I'm so glad to hear this is still around with other family's. Debbie Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/26/2018
My mother made this when I was a kid and I have been looking for the recipe for years. Thank you. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
06/28/2018
Very good! Reminds me of pralines. I used parchment paper instead of the cheesecloth & it worked fine. My roll did crumble too much. Next time I will put in a square pan & cut like fudge. Read More
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Rating: 3 stars
12/27/2014
I gave it three stars because I'm not an experienced candy maker so I may have messed it up myself but especially for someone inexperienced I feel the directions could be clarified some. I was not sure what heat setting to use and then the wording made it sound like you don't stir the mixture while it boils for possibly as long as 20 minutes... I "cheated" and stirred it just a few times because I was really skeptical about not stirring a boiling candy mixture at all (but tried to follow the directions since I figured maybe the recipe was written that way for a reason). The result was burned sugar coating the bottom of my pan that was as hard as a rock and was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove. It took at least a half hour of constant scrubbing and scraping. Probably longer. The candy is edible but has a burned sugar taste. It's not terrible I guess but also does not taste like my grandma's date roll candy. Afterward I looked around more and have seen other recipes that say to stir constantly. I'm not sure if I misunderstood these directions but please clarify them or reconsider the whole "without stirring once the boiling begins" part. I will use a different recipe next time and be sure to stir! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/15/2017
My grandmother uses to make this candy for us and it was very decadent. I was happy to find this recipe. Mine turned out a bit harder than hers but tased the same. I need to use a candy thermometer next time and stop the heat just at soft ball and increase the flavor by one half. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
12/08/2016
I could not get the wet cotton dish towel off the candy roll after cooling. Read More
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