Praline Pumpkin Date Bread

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2"x4 1/2"x2 1/2" or 1 loaf pan, 9"x 5"x 3", with shortening.  Make Praline Topping; set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients except dates until well blended.  Stir in dates.  Pour batter into pans.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.  

PRALINE TOPPING

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

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