Today, I have a recipe for you all. Since I am enjoying some nice time off, as I’ve finished with school, I have been taking the time to work on some recipes. I’ve been on a “sweet and salty” flavor kick lately, and I wanted to create a snack option that would satisfy my cravings. I haven’t cooked with dates in forever, so I decided to give them a try again. I knew I wanted to wrap the dates in bacon, but I decided to stuff them with some goat cheese and pecans. These little bundles of goodness are perfect for an appetizer, dessert, or snack! They taste great warm, at room temperature, or cold, so you really can’t go wrong. I am excited to try out different flavor combos with these. I was thinking that they would be awesome stuffed with almond butter, or ricotta and parsley. Let me know what you think!
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates
8 pieces of uncured, nitrate free bacon, cut in half
4 oz. goat cheese
pinch of sea salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375º and prepare a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Begin by scoring the dates down the middle in order to remove the pit. Be sure not to cut them through and through, otherwise they will be difficult to stuff. Once all of the dates of pitted, use a small spoon to stuff goat cheese into each date. I ended up using about a 1/2-1 teaspoon for each date, but you can fill them as much or as little as you like. Next, push a pecan into each center. Once all of your dates are stuffed, wrap a piece of bacon snugly around each. Tuck the ends of the bacon underneath the date so it won’t curl up as it cooks. You can use toothpicks if you find that to be easier.
Arrange the dates on the baking sheet, and place in the oven for 15-17 minutes. Now, I used thick cut bacon, so I ended up broiling the dates for about 5 minutes. If your bacon is not crisp at the 17 minute mark, broil the dates while keeping an eye on them until the bacon crisps. You may have to remove some dates that finish earlier in the process. Just be patient, it is worth the work. Once the bacon is crisped to your preference, remove them from the oven and transfer the dates to a separate plate for cooling. These will be EXTREMELY hot, so DO NOT try to eat them until they have cooled for 7-10 minutes. After that point, enjoy! (Surprisingly, I thought that they needed a little more salt, so I sprinkled some sea salt on half, but left the other half plain because Tom thought they were perfect. )