Date and Goat Cheese Appies – Exceptional EA in the Kitchen

Bacon wrapped date appies 2While travelling early this Fall, we enjoyed a great evening of tapas at a Spanish restaurant. While the server was no longer our best friend after we declined the $80 bottle of wine with which he’d hoped to tempt us, the busboy remained gracious and was good enough to share the simple ingredient list for an appie that’s quickly found a place among other entertaining favourites.

Date, Goat Cheese Appetizer copyright Shelagh Donnelly

If you and those on your guest lists like an occasional splurge with bacon, the combination of its salty flavour with the sweet date and just a bit of melted goat cheese will be a treat. When we returned to Vancouver, most of the recipes we found recommended frying the assembled appies rather than pre-cooking the bacon, but we found success with the approach shown here. While the directions below anticipate that you’ll prep and serve all at once, you can prepare and assemble these in advance of guests’ arrival, and then transfer the appetizers from the fridge to a baking sheet. Then, let them warm up to room temperature before popping in the oven for 10 minutes or so; next, you’ll serve and watch them disappear.

Ingredients

  • dates – quantity will depend on how many people you wish to serve; plan on one per appie. Here we used Medjool dates.
  • goat cheese – to taste
  • bacon – you’ll want one piece for each date

You’ll want to have at hand …

  • toothpicks

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Split the dates along the long side; remove the pits (stones)
  3. Stuff each date with goat cheese; given its richness, you won’t need overly large portions of cheese
  4. Cook bacon in whatever fashion you choose – microwave, fry or broil; be careful not to overcook, as you’ll want to be able to wrap each strip around a date
  5. You’ve just read the next step. Taking a stuffed date in hand, roll a piece of bacon around it and secure with a toothpick.
  6. Place assembled appetizers on a baking sheet, and place in a 350 F oven until the cheese has melted
  7. Serve and enjoy

Bacon wrapped date appies 3If You’re Preparing These In Advance of Company’s Arrival

We did pre-assemble the appetizers a few hours before serving. If you choose this approach, here are the steps we followed.

  1. Half an hour before serving, remove the appetizers from the fridge and set them on a baking sheet
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  3. Place the tray in the oven and keep an eye on your appetizers, checking after five and 10 minutes
  4. When the bacon is warm and the goat cheese is melted, remove from the oven and serve

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