If you've never tried dates before, let this bacon-wrapped party appetizer be your introduction. Filled with tangy goat cheese, wrapped in crisp bacon and brushed with a sweet and spicy maple syrup glaze, these dates have the perfect balance. The sweet dates are complemented perfectly by the salty bacon, while the goat cheese lends a creamy factor to the entire flavor-packed bite. In short, this party snack will be a guaranteed hit at any holiday party, fancy dinner or New Year's Eve celebration—they may just fly off the plate.
Read on for our top tips, tricks and possible variations for this classic party app:
While we think goat cheese adds the perfect creamy, tangy bite to these dates, any soft cheese will do! Blue cheese, ricotta or cream cheese would also work well if you're not a goat cheese fan. Dairy-free? Feel free to omit the filling completely! While they won't pack quite the same punch, plain bacon-wrapped dates will still have an irresistible salty-sweet flavor.
We prefer our bacon fairly crispy in this dish to add that contrasting crispness to the creamy goat-cheese-filled date. Brushing on the maple syrup glaze helps to add a caramelized factor to our bacon, but if you like your bacon even more crispy, you can cook them for a few more minutes—just keep an eye on them to make sure your dates don't burn! Top Tip: Don't buy thick-cut bacon for this recipe; it will take much longer to cook and crisp up.
A glaze isn't absolutely necessary, but we think it truly takes this app up a notch. The maple syrup helps to caramelize the bacon, while the red pepper flakes add a kick of subtle heat. You can really experiment with this glaze based on your personal preferences: swap out the rosemary for another fresh herb, take out the red pepper flakes if you're not looking for any spice, or add in some of your favorite seasonings to really amp up the flavor.
Have you made these yet? If so, let us know how it went in the comments below!
- 2 dz.
- Prep Time:
- 15 mins
- Total Time:
- 1 hr 10 mins
large Medjool dates, pitted
- 4 oz.
crumbled goat cheese
slices bacon, halved
- 1/4 c.
- 3/4 tsp.
crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp.
finely chopped rosemary
- 3/4 tsp.
freshly ground black pepper
- Step 1Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment and fit with a wire rack; set aside.
- Step 2Halve dates lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Place a small amount of cheese in the center of each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around each date making sure the ends meet underneath the date.
- Step 3Place dates, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Bake until bacon fat is beginning to render out, about 15 minutes.
- Step 4Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together maple syrup, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and black pepper. Brush each date with maple syrup mixture.
- Step 5Continue to bake brushed dates until bacon is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes more.
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