IN a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until they are combined, do not overbeat. Dissolve the soda in hot water, and add to the dates and raisins. Stir the date mixture into the egg mixture, then stir in the sifted dry ingredients. Finally, mix in the walnuts.
Drop level tablespoons of the mixture onto greased oven trays, about 2cm apart. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool.
Having cooked with dates before I decided to pure them first (as in a sticky date pud) and they ended up like little cakes. So I made them same again and made them in paper cups in a muffin tin and the husband and kids loved them! have made 'Federation Muffins' many times now. - 18 Mar 2011