Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over dates and let stand until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg, oil, and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, pecans, and brown sugar. Fold wet mixture into dry until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake about 65 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let rest 10 minutes, then turn out from pan onto a cooling rack. Once cool, wrap in parchment if giving as a gift, or slice and spread with Neufchatel and serve.