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Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Blue Cheese (Devils on Horseback)

Hiya, friends! How quickly two weeks flew by – hope everyone has been too occupied by food, family and friends to notice my absence…

My beautiful rittle seester is visiting from across Canada with her hubby, which has been my primary distraction.

With the whole country between us, I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with that radiant smile.

Theo is pretty smitten with his auntie and uncle, too, can’t you tell?

With the blur of the holiday busy-ness, I find it handy to have some quick and easy appys to whip up on a moment’s notice for guests.

I keep a nice box of crackers on hand – specifically these ones – along with a couple of yummy, but not-too-fancy cheeses, like a basic creamy blue or goat’s cheese and a smoked cheddar, and a selection of dried fruit (dates, apricots, figs) and nuts (almonds, pecans, hazelnuts). Easy, inexpensive cheese platter at a moment’s notice.

However, it’s nice to have something hot to serve, too. I find that anything wrapped in bacon goes over particularly well.

Devils on Horseback (aka bacon-wrapped blue cheese-stuffed dates) are always a hit. And I often make variations with whatever I have on hand – subbing goat’s cheese or even feta when I don’t have blue in the fridge, or using soft apricots or even halved prunes instead of dates.

The classic salty-sweet combo is supremely addictive – I guarantee there will be arm-wrestles for the last one.

Wishing everyone a great time ringing in 2014. Chances are high that I won’t make it to midnight (see exhibit A below), so have an extra glass of bubbly for me!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Ingredients

  • 3 oz/100 g blue cheese
  • 20 large medjool dates, sliced open lengthwise (but not cut through), stones removed
  • 10 slices bacon (I typically use thin-sliced bacon from the butcher or deli section – but thicker bacon is just fine, with a few minutes longer cooking time)
  • Toothpicks

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Stuff about 1 teaspoon of blue cheese into the cavity of each date. Once all the dates have been stuffed, cut the bacon in half crosswise. Wrap each date in a half-slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick through the middle. Arrange dates on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet as you go. Once all stuffed dates have been wrapped, bake for about 10 minutes, until bacon is crispy – it will take longer if your bacon is regular or thick-cut (see note above about pre-cooking a bit in microwave).

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