I knew these babies would be the hit of the party.
It was just after midnight and I was savoring the last bite of a tester batch of appetizers fresh out of the oven the night before a big dinner party (some of my best work in the kitchen comes after midnight!). It was a good thing that I only whipped up a few because I could have easily eaten an entire pan of bacon-wrapped dates and then waddled my pumpkin-shaped self up the stairs to bed.
Flash-forward 24 hours later. A variety of stuffed bacon- and pancetta-wrapped dates were the hit of the party. After the dishwasher was loaded and the leftover wine was (yes, we had leftover wine; yes, we are ashamed) I saw it: there was one left. One single pancetta-wrapped date left.
And then, just like that, he was gone 🙂 They’re addicting, very addicting.
Bacon (or Pancetta) Wrapped Dates
One of the most addicting appetizers ever: bacon-wrapped dates and endless possibilities for stuffing.
- 2 packages of pitted dates
- 1 1/2 lb thickly sliced bacon (or pancetta, deli slice at 3)
- Goat cheese, marinated or plain
- Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Dried apricots, sliced
- Dried cranberries
- Pistachios (salted and roasted), coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- If using pancetta, slice into strips, approximately the same width as the dates.
- For the plain goat cheese, I microwave 3 oz of goat cheese in two 10-15 second intervals, stirring until creamy. I then place it in a ziploc baggie, squeeze the cheese into one corner, and snip the small corner off the end of the bag. This makes it *super* easy to pipe the dates full of goat cheese.
- For the big stuff, you can cut the dates in half and them with whatever you like - I used marinated goat cheese, Gorgonzola and sliced dried apricots, dried cranberries and chopped pistachios (1/2-1 tsp filling per date).
- Wrap strips of bacon around the date and secure on skewers. Once all dates are skewered, place on a rack over a baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes on each side, until the pancetta is nicely crisped. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once dates have cooled slightly, slide off the skewers and serve. They're great warm or at room temperature.
Estimated time: 1 hour