Combine pecans, raisins, dates, and 1/4 cup flour; stir well, and set aside.
Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs; beat well. Sift together remaining flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in dredged pecans, raisins, and dates.
Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.