For the weekend– this is the quickest, easiest crowd-pleasing appetizer I know. Top it with a little balsamic honey glaze, and you’re golden!
20-30 large medjool dates
16 oz. plain goat cheese (chèvre)
20-30 piece high quality, center cut bacon
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 375. Use a pairing knife to slice each date open on one side and remove the pit. Make sure you keep half of the date intact (so it looks a little like a hot dog bun). Take a teaspoon full of goat cheese, roll into a ball, and stuff into each date. It’s ok if it overflows a bit. Next Wrap each goat cheese stuffed date with a piece of bacon, making sure it wraps all the way around. It is so worth it to splurge on the bacon. Really, it makes all the difference. If you’re in the Seattle area, go to the Ballard farmer’s market on Sunday and get bacon from Skagit River Ranch. It tastes like candy.
Arrange dates on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until bacon is crispy.
Meanwhile, heat balsamic in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Once it begins to simmer, stir in honey, reduce to medium low, and let cook about 8 minutes, until it thickens. When dates are done, arrange on a platter and drizzle with glaze.
Serves 12-16 as an appetizer.