What is a Mallow Date Roll?
Mallow Date Roll is a wonderful holiday dessert made by combining graham cracker crumbs, finely chopped dates, walnuts, miniature marshmallows, crushed pineapple and heavy cream. After shaping the mixture into a roll,the Mallow Date Roll in wrapped in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chilled overnight. When ready to serve, Mallow Date Roll is sliced and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
My maternal grandmother, Rose Chastain Warren, made this delicious dessert at Christmas each year so I have fond memories of eating this retro recipe! She also made another wonderful holiday dessert, Praline Pumpkin Pie, that I also love. A tough decision for me would be having to choose between these two desserts!
Making a Mallow Date Roll is quick and easy. There is no cooking involved. It is a good idea to make it at least one day ahead of serving so that the ingredients meld together well during the chilling process. The dates add such a richness and sweetness to Mallow Date Rolls that one slice is often enough for each person served!
The Recipe for Mallow Date Roll
- 3 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup crushed pineapple with the juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Reserve 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (for shaping the mixture into a roll later.)
- Combine 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs with dates, walnuts, marshmallows and pineapple with juice.
- Add cream and mix well.
- Spread reserved crumbs on waxed paper or plastic wrap and shape mixture into a roll, covering the outside with crumbs.
- Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- To serve, cut into slices and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
For the graham cracker crumbs I used an entire box of graham crackers that I put in my food processor to make crumbs. Of course you can buy graham cracker crumbs which would make this recipe come together even quicker!
If you don’t want to use 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, feel free to use 1/2 cup of another dried fruit, such as golden raisins or dried apricots.
For the crushed pineapple with the juice, I spooned the pineapple right out of the can without draining the juice so that with each dip I drew out some of the juice with the pineapple. The original recipe called for crushed pineapple in syrup but I used pineapple in it’s own juice. Use whichever version you prefer.
The original recipe calls for walnuts but you could use any nut you prefer in this recipe.
I used my largest bowl to combine all the ingredients – I like to have room to mix everything without losing some of it over the side!
I used plastic wrap to shape the Mallow Date Roll but wax paper might be sturdier to do this task. I placed the roll on a sheet of aluminum foil to give the Mallow Date Roll more structure while it’s in the refrigerator overnight. If the mixture tends to be crumbly, add a small amount of pineapple juice to help it come together more easily.
When my Grandmother Warren made Mallow Date Roll, she would divide the mixture into 3 smaller rolls. I rolled the mixture into one long roll, as you can see in the photo. When ready to serve, unwrap the Mallow Date Roll and slice into pieces 1″ thick (or more!) and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Retro recipes from our ancestors are great to prepare any time of year but I especially enjoy creating recipes from the past during the holidays. My Grandmother’s Mallow Date Roll and Praline Pumpkin Pie are really delicious but most of all they remind me of my Grandmother whose presence I can almost feel when I use her recipes and then enjoy eating her desserts!
What holiday recipes remind you of days gone by and family members you love?
Remember to Savor the Flavor!
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