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Jordan Hamons
Course Appetizer

Ingredients
  

  • 16 Medjool dates
  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese
  • 16 slivered almonds
  • 8 strips thinly sliced bacon
  • Toothpicks
  • Spicy Honey such as Mike’s Hot Honey — optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Use a paring knife to carefully slice the dates lengthwise about 3/4 of the way through. They should still be intact on one side but you want a big enough opening that you can easily fill them. Remove the pit from each date.
  • Cut the cheese into 16 small cubes. The pieces of cheese should be small enough to fit inside of the dates.
  • Stuff each date with a piece of cheese and a slivered almond. Press the date closed.
  • Cut the strips of bacon in half. Wrap a half-strip of bacon around each date. Secure with a toothpick. Place each date on its side on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the dates for 15 minutes and then flip each date to its other side. This will help the bacon cook evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until the bacon is crisp.
  • Place the dates on a serving platter and drizzle them with the spicy honey (if using). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

The dates can be assembled up to a day in advance. Keep them covered and refrigerated and pop the tray in the oven when you’re ready to serve. You can also freeze the unbaked dates for up to 3 months.