This is the best appetizer in the whole wide world.
For the rest of time, I will make bacon-wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates to impress guests at parties and potlucks.
I first encountered this recipe a few weeks ago at a work potluck. Immediately, I planned to make it for the a potluck that I am attending was supposed to attend this weekend. It got canceled, unforunately, after I had already purchased the ingredients. We had done a test run earlier in the week, too. At least we know now how easy it is to make them and how delicious they taste.
Brace yourself. This one is going to hurt so good.
Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
Yield 30 servings | Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes
- 10 pieces of thick bacon
- 2 tbs sunflower seeds (or pine nuts)
- 3 oz. goat cheese
- 30 medjool dates
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Preheat griddle or frying pan. Cook bacon most of the way but not completely, over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to dry on a paper towel. Pulse sunflower seeds in food processor for a few seconds to slightly chop. Add in goat cheese, process until combined.
Slice dates lengthwise and spread the center open. Fill with approximately 1 tsp of goat cheese mixture, then close the seam of the date as much as possible. Snip bacon strips into thirds. Wrap each date with bacon strip, covering the seam where the cheese could come out. Skewer with a tooth pick and place bacon side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and skewer all dates. Glaze with maple syrup. Bake for 10 minutes.
To cater to vegetarians: ditch the bacon. Put a toothpick through dates stuffed with the goat cheese mixture and glaze with maple syrup. Bake as indicated above. They are flavorful and chewy with or without the bacon!
It truly doesn’t even matter if these things look like a car wreck on a silver platter. The flavors are so perfect, no one will notice any flaws in preparation. They are two perfect bites of pure bliss.
I think the key to success is partially cooking the bacon before wrapping the dates. Otherwise, they would have to cook for longer in the oven and the glaze would burn and the filling would dry out. As I’ve prepared them, they are moist, chewy, and succulent.
Please make these.