1Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottoms and sides of 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or cooking spray (do not use paper baking cups).
2In blender or food processor, place cereal, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and egg. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir all topping ingredients until well mixed. Place 1 teaspoon of the topping in bottom of each muffin cup.
3Blend cereal mixture in blender on medium speed until smooth; set aside. In medium bowl, stir flour, dates, 1/2 cup brown sugar, the baking soda and salt until well mixed. Pour cereal mixture over flour mixture; stir just until moistened (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
4Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place cookie sheet upside down on muffin pan; turn cookie sheet and pan over to remove muffins. Serve warm if desired.