I remember being at a work Christmas party about 2 and a half years ago and I was offered bacon wrapped dates. First off, I thought bacon was bad. (I was wrong) Second, I thought dates looked like cockroaches. Ok, so if you squint a little, they sorta DO look like cockroaches. I’ve never eaten a cockroach and have no immediate plans to, but I’m pretty sure dates taste a bazillion times better.
Fast forward 2 and a half years and I know have a full appreciation of bacon wrapped dates. If you’re interested in giving these a shot (and you really should) they’re extremely easy to make at home.
First step, take some toothpicks and soak them in water. You need one per date. You don’t HAVE to use toothpicks if you don’t have them handy, but it does keep them from falling apart when you flip them during cooking.
Line a baking sheet with foil
Grab your dates. I 100% recommend getting pitted dates. This means the hard seed has been removed for you and makes prep a lot easier. They’re usually near the produce section. Each Publix seems to store them in a different area of the produce section, so I often have to ask where they are or just look around a bit.
NOTE: Just because they’re pitted does not mean the pit is always removed. USE CAUTION when eating because occasionally a pit sneaks through.
Next, if you wish to stuff the dates with something (like goat cheese) slice each of the dates in half. If you’re not stuffing them, you can leave them whole.
Once the dates are sliced, just grab a spoon and put some goat cheese in the fold.
The next step is to wrap them in bacon. You don’t want to wrap too much bacon around them because you want a good bacon : date ratio. As a result, before I start, I cut the package of bacon in half with a pair of scissors. This makes the bacon the perfect length.
Take a slice of bacon, wrap it around a date and stab with a toothpick being careful you don’t stab yourself on accident.
Put the dates in the oven at 350’. Set your alarm for 5 minutes. When your alarm goes off, grab some tongs and carefully flip each date. Put back into the oven again, and set your alarm for 5 minutes. Repeat until the dates look cooked, slightly crispy and not burnt. The ones above are probably spent a few too many minutes in the oven.
When they’re done, let them cool. If you try one right away, be careful because the center will be HOT! To store, put in a tupperware and put in the fridge.