Adapted from Joy of Baking
8oz (1 1/3 cups) chopped dried pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2 cups flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. In a large bowl mix together dates, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Pour boiling water over top and stir then let sit until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 9x5" loaf pan. In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in butter using pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles course breadcrumbs then stir in walnuts.
3. In a small bowl whisk together egg and vanilla and add to cooled date mixture along with flour mixture. Stir until everything is combined. Pour batter into pan and bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan then slice & serve!
For best keeping wrap loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.