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Chocolate Date Muffins

3/4 c Seedless dates; finely chopped
3/4 c Boiling water
100 g Butter; softened slightly
1/2 c Sugar
2 tb Chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Egg
1 ts Vanilla essence
1/4 ts Bi-carbonate of soda
1/4 c Milk
1 3/4 c Self raising flour
1/2 c Chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 Set; (12) muffin tins lined with paper cups

Preheat oven to hot (200 to 210 deg C). Put the chopped dates into a mixing bowl, then pour over the boiling water. Add the soft butter in small pieces then stir until the butter melts.

Add sugar and cool slightly then add walnuts, egg and vanilla. Mix soda with milk then add to the mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add sifted flour and stir until just combined (don't beat). Stir in the chocolate then spoon into the prepared muffin tins, allowing 2 level tablespoons for each one. Bake in the pre-heated hot oven for about 20 minutes.Serve 'just warm' while the chocolate is still runny. Reheat any leftover muffins in a microwave oven just before serving so the chocolate melts slightly. Allow 15 seconds on high for each one.

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