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Chocolate Date Loaf

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  Dates 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Boiling water 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Baking soda 1 Teaspoon
  Vegetable shortening 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Eggs 2
  All purpose flour 1 3⁄4 Cup (28 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Cocoa 3 Tablespoon
  Vanilla 1 Teaspoon
  Nuts 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chopped
  Chocolate chips 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)

Chop the dates.
In a mixing bowl, stir together boiling water and baking soda; stir in dates.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and cocoa and add to sugar-and-egg mixture.
Add vanilla and dates, with their liquid, and blend well.
Pour batter into two greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pans.
Sprinkle batter with chocolate chips and nuts, and pat down lightly.
Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean.

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