1-1/2 cups chopped dates (8 ounces)
1-1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the dates, water and butter; let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and date mixture. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour into two greased 8-inch x 4-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Cover loosely with foil if top browns to quickly. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.