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From The Winter Vegetarian by Darra Goldstein, (published by HarperCollins, 1996). If you haven't read that book, check it out! It will make you feel better about winter. This recipe uses twice the amount of dates as a typical date loaf. The author credits the original recipe to her sister. I reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 c. and use 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour plus 1/4 cup ground flaxmeal to make this a bit healthier.
- Place the dates in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda, then pour the boiling water over. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large loaf pan. The original recipe calls for a 2 pound coffee can, but I never have one of those.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Stir in sugar, egg, vanilla, spices, and salt.
- Add half the flour, then stir in the dates.
- Add remaining flour and nuts.
- Place batter in prepared pan.
- Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, usually around 50 minutes to an hour. The original recipe calls for a 90 minute bake time, but I don't think it needs that much time.
- Cool ten minutes before removing from pan.
- Slices better the next day.