Finely chop the dates either by hand. (use a wet knife-it makes slicing easier!) Or, place coarsely chopped dates in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Stir together the softened cream cheese and nuts by hand or add it to the food processor (along with the spice, if using. If using a food processor, process with the PULSE on/off function. Process the mixture until everything is combined and the dates are as finely chopped as possible.