Date Nut Cake

1 (6 1/2 oz) package dates, finely cut (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Pour hot water over dates. Combine shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla in bowl. Beat 5 minutes until fluffy. Sift flour, soda and salt together. With mixer at low speed, add alternate portions of dates, creamy mixture and dry mixture. Begin and end with dry ingredients. Blend just until smooth. Add nuts. Beat for a total of 5 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 9 x 1 3/4" pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

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