One of the most popular munchies I make just got a bit more popular.
Truly, it is hard not to love dates stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, then seasoned with a savory maple garlic steak spice blend; but…
now that I’ve replaced regular bacon with duck bacon (old story, I know), I’ve gone that one more step to add a bit of heat and additional spice to the mix by replacing the blue cheese with…
wait for it…
And, it is a new group fave.
I still use the Gateway to the North Maple Garlic Seasoning, but go ahead and opt for your own preferred seasoning blend.
•Dates (I buy ’em pitted)
Prep could not be simpler; cut the bacon slices in half, then gather all your ingredients and a good handful of toothpicks around a work surface.
Open a date along the pit seam (or go ahead and pit ’em if you chose to go that route, but, trust me, pitting dates is sticky work – go ahead and pay the premium for having someone else do that bit of work) and stuff the date with a good bit of the cheese spread.
Note: I am not giving amounts of cheese spread per date, because, the dates are gonna be different sizes. You want each date nicely filled with cheese.
Place the date at one end of a bacon slice half and roll the bacon up and around the date.
Secure it with a toothpick and stash in a storage bag.
Repeat with the remaining dates and bacon.
I usually do this the day before and stash ’em in the fridge.
When ready to cook, heat your oven to 375º and arrange the bacon wrapped dates on a rack set into a baking pan.
Season with the Gateway to the North – or whatever other seasoning you’ve chosen – and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and a bit crispity, the cheese is nicely melted, and the dates are practically perfect in every way.
As a handy guide, one (12 oz) packet of thick sliced duck bacon will wrap one (12 oz) tub of pitted dates, with enough bacon leftover to do another four dates or so, if you have ’em lying around.