Orange Walnut Muffins

I first made these muffins in 1987, adapted from a recipe I found in a library book, Colonial Old Treasures. The muffins are nice for breakfast or snacking – not too sweet, a good texture, and a “must” for me – full of walnuts.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil (Canola)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate plus 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup chopped English walnuts

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and soda.  Set aside

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, oil, orange juice and lemon peel.  Stir in the reserved flour mixture just until the dry ingredients are absorbed.  Stir in the chopped nuts.

Divide among 12 greased muffin tins or 12 silicone baking cups.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin tests done.

Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm.

Yield:  12 muffins.  Leftovers can be warmed in a 350 degree F oven.  Muffins can also be frozen. 

Honey Nut Bars–Low Fat

This is a nice reduced-fat bar cookie that I found on All Recipes.  My daughters and I enjoy the strong honey flavor in these cookies.


  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 8″ square cake pan.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.  Add the honey and eggs and whisk well.  Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt – blend with the honey/egg mixture.  Stir in the walnuts and dates.  Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes @ 350 degrees F until light brown.  Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes.  With a sieve, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar over the top.

When cool, cut into bars. 

Withrow’s Date Pudding

From 1946 to 1950, I attended Withrow High School, at that time a prestigious school with a beautiful campus in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park.  I traveled by streetcar from our home in the not-so-prestigious area called the East End to this beautiful place which also had an enormous cafeteria with an extensive lunch menu.  I tried dishes here that were brand-new to me.  One of my favorites was a dessert called Date Pudding.  I loved the gooey pudding with crunchy walnuts and a dab of whipped cream (well before the era of Cool Whip).

After I left Withrow, I tried date pudding at restaurants without finding one that was similar to the cafeteria version.  When I started cooking, I tried out a lot of recipes and found some good ones, but not quite the right one.  Then, I found this one in 1989 (not sure where it turned up) and it was what I was looking for.  In my recipe binder I have a note, “2/25/89 – excellent.  Like Withrow H.S.’s in late 1940s.”


  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups hot water
  • 2 Tblsp. butter

Place the sugar, water and butter in a medium saucepan and heat to boiling.  Remove from heat and let cool while preparing the rest of the dessert.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tblsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dates
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a 9×9 baking dish mix together the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder.  Stir in the chopped dates and nuts….

….then the milk and vanilla.

Mix together just until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed.  Spread out evenly in the baking dish.

Pour the warm syrup over the top and set baking dish on a large pan to catch spills.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with a little of the sauce from the bottom of the baking dish and a bit of whipped cream or topping.

This is also good at room temperature.  It is very rich – small servings are advised.

Makes 12 servings.

I eat a few bites and I’m transported back to Withrow’s noisy, crowded cafeteria and a special lunchtime treat.