Date chocolate-chip cake
1 cup chopped dates, see note
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups boiling water
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1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda, salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Whipped cream, optional
Makes 12 servings.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dates in a small bowl; sprinkle with the baking soda. Pour the boiling water over dates; let cool.
Cream the sugar and shortening in a large bowl; beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Alternately add the flour mixture and cooled date mixture to the sugar-shortening mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 13-by-9-inch pan.
For the topping, combine the chocolate chips, nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle mixture over the top of the batter. Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Note: To chop the sticky dates, use kitchen shears lightly coated with non-stick spray
Nutritional information per serving: 383 calories, 43 percent of calories from fat, 19 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 52 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 242 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.