I have been making these Bacon Wrapped Date appetizers for several years now. I first started making these while living in Phoenix where date palm trees were plenty. You could get these really fresh, ripe, sweet, and plump dates at any time and I grew a very fond appreciation for them. I loved eating them plain, but started to make these so that other would be able to see how lovely the dates really were. It was an assistant I had, named Narcisa; that coined the nickname for them: Bacon Candy! She was in awe of them and loved when they showed up on catering menus because she always had the opportunity to taste test. She confessed to me after a camping trip that she broke in her new cast iron pan making them over a camp fire. She loved them that much, but so does my husband. I picked up some dates right before Christmas so my husband could enjoy this appetizer again. These are great as a holiday meal starter, or any time of year that you are looking for something supper special and really easy. Let me now when you try them and if you think you love them as much as Brian and Narcisa.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Fresh Dates (figure at least 3 – 4 per person)
Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, sliced in ½ length wise (each ½ strip per date)
Raw Whole Almonds (1 – 2 per date)
First, preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Spread your almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 – 13 minutes. You are looking for the nuts to roast and become really fragrant without burning them. When roasted, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Next; with a knife, make a small slit in each date and remove the pit with your fingers. Also check to be sure there is not a stem end still attached.
Then, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Have your bacon strips, dates, and almonds ready; along with a foil lined sheet pan. Place one to two almonds in each date (depending on the size of both the date and the almond) and lightly squeeze closed. Wrap your sliced bacon around your stuffed date letting the ends of the bacon overlap and place it all seam side down on your lined baking sheet.
Finally, when all dates are stuffed and wrapped place them in your oven for about 25 – 30 minutes. You are looking for the bacon to render and caramelize while your date plumps up. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the dates from your baking sheet and onto a serving platter. Serve and eat while warm.