Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Stuffed Bacon Wrapped DatesMy sister in-law, Anne, first shared this recipe with the family many years ago.  Anne was way ahead of her time with the bacon.  I mean, now bacon is the king of all flavors…actually I’m a little traumatized by all of the bacon hoopla…chocolate dipped bacon?  Why?

Anyway, Annie knew what she was doing when she told us to take a piece of bacon, wrap it around a date, secure with a toothpick, and then bake until the bacon was crispy.  It seemed a bit in the gray area for me at the time, but after my first bite my flavor world exploded into a beautiful rainbow of colors.  Smokey and sweet, crunchy and chewy; perfect combinations of flavors and textures.

Now, of course, there are recipes galore for stuffed bacon wrapped dates, with the stuffings ranging from ultra chic to plain and simple.  Guess which ones catch my eye.

Today I stuffed the dates with plain cream cheese, cream cheese with chopped jalapeno, and crumbled blue cheese.  My favorite was the cream cheese with chopped jalapeno.  The flavors were really fun together, like a party with all of my best friends.  Every element had its own personality–the sweet date, the smokey bacon, the smooth and slightly tangy cream cheese, and the ‘just right’ heat from the jalapeno.  I kept saying, “Oh!  This is so good!”  John’s favorite was the blue cheese and Katie liked the plain cream cheese; so, there was something for everyone.

I chose to use medjool dates, which I find in the produce departments of my local grocery stores.  These are my favorite dates because of their large, plump size and their wonderful sweetness. Pitting them is very easy; just take a small knife, make a slit down their length, and take out the large seed.

Print green and blue-1Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates


Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 20-30 mins | Total Time: 1 hr | Yield: variable

Sweet, salty and smoky, Bacon Wrapped Dates are a great crowd pleaser. Stuff them with simple cream cheese, jalapeno cream cheese or blue cheese to up the flavor experience. YUM!

Note: there are no quantities attached to these ingredients.  Quantities are dependent upon how many dates are being prepared.


 Ingredients

  • pitted medjool dates
  • bacon–you will need one slice of bacon for every two dates
  • cream cheese
  • canned or jarred jalapeno peppers, chopped small
  • blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Set aside.
  2. Pit the dates by making a single slice lengthwise down one side of the date and removing the seed.  Do not cut the dates completely in half.
  3. If using jalapeno cream cheese: blend the diced jalapenos and cream cheese together.  I used a 1:5 ratio – one part jalapeno to 5 parts cream cheese (Example: 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno and 5 tablespoons {about 1/3 cup} of cream cheese). Adjust the quantity of jalapeno to your personal taste.
  4. Fill the cavity of each date with your choice of filling.
  5. Cut the bacon in half crosswise. Wrap each date with a bacon half, over-lapping the bacon ends. Stick a wooden toothpick through the date to secure the bacon.
  6. Place prepared dates on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until bacon is well browned.  Turn dates over halfway through cooking.

Make a slit lengthwise down one side of the date to expose the pit. Remove the pit and the small hard end where the date was attached to the stem.  You can see it in the picture below at the top of the date.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Do not cut the dates in half.  They need to remain whole except for the slit on one side.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Stuff the dates.  I used crumbled blue cheese, cream cheese, and jalapeno cream cheese.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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For the jalapeno cream cheese (this is so, so good), mix some chopped bottled or canned jalapenos in a 1:5 ratio with the cream cheese.  I used chilled cream cheese because it was easier to stuff the dates.  Room temperature cream cheese is too soft for me to handle well when stuffing dates…and I am NOT going to the trouble of putting the cream cheese in a piping bag and then piping it into the dates and then cleaning the piping tip and the piping bag…I can wash my hands ten times faster.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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 Because the cream cheese is relatively firm, I shape it into a bullet shape and then place it inside the date. Easy peasy.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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 Cut the bacon in half crosswise.  Remember, you can wrap two dates with one piece of bacon.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Wrap the dates with the bacon, overlapping the ends of the bacon.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Stick a wooden toothpick through each date to secure the bacon.  Place the dates on a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes in a 400-degree F oven, turning over halfway through baking.
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
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Really, really, really try the jalapeno cream cheese dates!
Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

You may also like:

Cream Cheese Marshmallow Fruit Dip
Cream Cheese Marshmallow Fruit Dip
Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Dip
Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Dip
Hot Crab Dip
Hot Crab Dip

Comments

  1. says

    Becca, I know just how you feel about the bacon being out of the budget. When John was in school we couldn’t afford bacon, either. After he graduated and got his first job, we got so excited because we could finally put bacon and orange juice on the shopping list. It felt so decadent!

  2. says

    The first time my friend Tilly Spivey made these for a wardroom function back in Misawa, Japan, I was so wary of the bacon & dates together. And then magic…I took a bite…and then another…and then I made them years after for every appetizer event. But then I forgot…and now I remember again how much I loved them…bacon & all. But yes, Becca, I don’t normally like or eat bacon but I do make sure that the appetizer pieces I eat are very crispy…every last speck.

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