Goat Cheese–Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Using a paring knife, cut a slit lengthwise down one side of each date; remove pit. Place the dates on the prepared baking sheet.

Fill each date with about 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Press the date closed. Wrap each date tightly with 1 bacon piece (reserve any remaining bacon pieces for another use);

place the dates seam-sides down on the baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart. (If the bacon pieces are loose, use wooden picks to secure them.)

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the dates and bake until the bacon is crispy, 12 to 13 minutes more. Transfer to a platter. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix goat cheese, water and thyme in a medium bowl until well blended and smooth.

Instructions

Ingredients

2 ounces soft goat cheese

1 tablespoon warm water 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, plus more leaves for garnish 32 small dates, such as Deglet Noor 11 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces

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