Tropical Nut Bread

Tropical Nut Bread

1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pineapple-Cheese Spread

Combine dates, pecans and baking soda in a small bowl. Stir in hot water; set aside to cool. Cream shortening in a medium size bowl; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add egg and beat well.

Combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with date mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour batter into two greased and floured 16-ounce vegetable cans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in cans for 10 minutes.

Remove loaves from cans and cool on wire racks. Slice loaves into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Spread Pineapple-Cheese Spread evenly over half the bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices.

To store: Refrigerate sandwiches in a tightly covered container up to 2 days. Freeze sandwiches in a labeled airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Pineapple-Cheese Spread

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup flaked coconut
2 tablespoons pineapple preserves

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir well.

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