Friday, 19 December 2014

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Goat cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates!
Hi Everyone. First off, I know i've been out of the loop and on radio silence since last Friday but I promise that I was not abducted by aliens or mythical creatures of yore (how cool would that be though?). The past weekend/week have been a non-stop slew of entertaining, obligations, and a crazy amount of work, all packed in right before I leave for Texas this afternoon. I've been away from my kitchen and re-discovering the instant foods aisle at my local Duane-Reade (cringing as I type this) but luckily, last night's party included real food and one of my absolute favorite party tricks made a surprise appearance.

Not only are these easy to make but there are endless ways to make them, depending on your taste AND they include bacon. What's not to love?

For the two variations discussed here, you will need: pitted Medjool dates, bacon (I prefer thick cut, applewood smoked), and either pecans or honey, depending on your preference.

For pecan stuffed dates:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuff half a pecan in each date, inserting in the whole created by the removal of the pit, and wrap in 1 or 1/2 piece of bacon, depending on what kind of bacon-to-date ratio you want. *Note - the bacon will shrink slightly as it cooks, so make sure it has a good overlap. Secure the bacon wraps with a toothpick, going cleanly through the date.

For honey glazed dates:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a basting brush and a bowl of honey, brush each date with a light coating of honey and wrap with 1 or 1/2 piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick, going cleanly through the date, and see cooking directions below.

For both recipes:

Place the bacon wrapped dates 1/2 inch apart on a cooling rack or dripping pan over a shallow, rimmed pan (I make a shallow lipped pan of aluminum foil, place that on a baking sheet, and put the cooling rack over that). Place in the oven for 15 minutes, checking the dates around the 10 minute mark to make sure that they are cooking fully (may need to be turned) and not sitting in any bacon juice (hence, the need for an elevated cooking surface). After 15 minutes, keep cooking the dates until the bacon is at your preferred level of crispiness for up to another 5 minutes.

Let cool slightly and serve with the toothpicks still in them so people can pick them up.

Ps. I had these stuffed with goat cheese last night and would highly recommend doing that in place of the pecans if you're nut averse.


- 20 pitted Medjool dates (the size of this recipe is completely subjective/based on how many people you are serving but always plan to make double what you need as these will all be eaten in 5 seconds!)
- 1/2 lb bacon (preferably thick cut, applewood smoked)
- 1 c pecans or pecan pieces
- 1 c honey

- toothpicks
- basting brush
- cooling rack or drip pan

Serves 10-20

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