Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cream Cheese - Appetizer

If you are dieting, have high cholesterol, or a heart condition, please stop reading my decadent appetizer post! My latest celebratory delicacy is made with bacon AND cheese, so, if you can show me a clean bill of health from your doctor, then read on.

My neighbor threw a party a couple of months ago, and served Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cream Cheese. I still cannot get them out of my mind's pantry. Boy, were they good! She would put a platter down and the revelers would pounce, and before I could push my way through the throngs for another toothpick-speared sweet, salty, crispy, greasy, creamy nugget, they would be gone.

This party appetizer is old school -- portable and perfect with a martini and Sammy Davis Jr. on the stereo. It is labor-intensive, but you can assemble them well beforehand, and keep containered and cool in the fridge.

I've found all the necessities at my local 99c only Store. Bacon does not show up often, but when it does I buy 5 packages to freeze. The dates come about 24 to a box, and the cream cheese is an "off" brand, but tastes like name-brand Philadelphia.

If you have someone to help you, make an assembly line; it is a little messy inserting the cream cheese into a seedless date.
And I used half a slice of bacon per cheese-stuffed date. The dates I bought at the dollar store had seeds, so it took longer to fashion. All the ingredients are mushy, oily and sticky, so a light touch is needed. But, believe me, all the effort is worth it!

So get the party started -- when you present a platter of these crispy, bacon-wrapped succulent wonders, all the oohs and aahs will be followed with prolonged satisfying sighs!

Ingredients - about 3 to 4 (or more!) per person.
24 dates - seedless, or remove the seeds.
12 slices of bacon - 1/2 slice per date.
2 - 4 ounces of cream cheese - may need more or less, depending on size of the date.
24 wood toothpicks or more - some may break in the assembly.

Remove seeds from dates if necessary. Stuff each date with cream cheese. Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon, overlapping bacon ends, around stuffed date and hold together by spearing through the date with a toothpick.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange stuffed and skewered dates on a cookie sheet or a large pan. If you have a metal rack for the pan, it's even better for keeping extra grease off dates. Bake until bacon is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes. You will need to turn each bacon-wrapped date a couple of times during baking, so it does not blacken where it touches the pan - dates have such a high sugar content, they may burn if left in one position.

Drain dates on paper towels for a minute. And serve warm with a cool martini !


Bite Me TV said...

Yup, those are pure awesomeness! (Wait, is that a word?) We did an episode of 'BITE ME! the MAN Cooking Show' that demonstrated almost exactly the same recipe, except that we used asiago instead of cream cheese. Chestnuts also work great, when you can find them already prepared in a can (usually during the holidays).


Bite Me TV

Denise said...

Sure they look good, but almost anything with bacon would! I consider using bacon to be culinary cheating! :)

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