These Bacon Wrapped Dates make for one of the simplest yet elegant appetizers you’ll ever make. This recipe is in partnership with Kayem.
Bacon Wrapped Dates, could there be anything simpler yet more delicious? I think not, and thus today I am bringing you not only this recipe, but a few tips and tricks I have found to be key throughout the years in making these.
Because yes, I’ve been making them for years – at home for dinner parties and even weeknight treats, as well as in the restaurant, for catered events and the appetizer menu specials. They are simple, pack a ton of flavor, and everyone that tastes them wants more.
For simple recipes, ingredients are always key and this one isn’t the exception. This recipe only has two ingredients, so make sure you are using the best you can.
Choosing Your Bacon
When choosing which bacon to use in this recipe, most tend to think that a thinner bacon will be best, because it cooks faster and is easier to wrap around the dates, but I beg to differ, and that’s why I chose Kayem’s Double Smoked Thick Cut Bacon. It’s fully smoked twice over hickory wood to deliver unforgettable flavor and ingredients like brown sugar and maple syrup make this a bacon you can’t get enough of.
- Find a hand crafted, slow-cooked bacon. These tend to be better in flavor and cook up nicely.
- If you can find extra-thick cut bacon, go for that – the thicker bacon does take longer to crisp in the oven, but does a better job of keeping its shape versus a thin bacon that will most likely disintegrate.
- Keep it local. Kayem is a local, trustworthy New England brand that’s family owned and has a legacy of over 100 years in the meat industry.
Choosing Your Dates
Dates are so special, it’s a fruit that also has heritage and legacy, and one that’s become a beloved fruit all over the world, starting with the Middle East and moving towards the Western world. You can find fresh and dried dates, and for this particular recipe, we will be using dried dates. But when I say dried, I mean slightly dried – some stores carry dates that are old and too dried, so you’re looking for juicy, chewy dates that are plump. Dates have the lowest moisture content of any whole fruit at only 30%, meaning they’re naturally dehydrated! As they age, the sugars in the date fruit slowly move to the surface of the date, forming small sugar white spots.
There are about a million and one varieties of dates grown around the world, but in the U.S. you’ll mostly find the plump and tender Medjool Dates and what we are using here.
Tips & Tricks for Perfect Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Use thick cut bacon, it crisps up and offers a meatier bite
- Make sure to use a toothpick to secure the bacon to the dates so it doesn’t unravel
- Unlike the photos you see, make sure to use parchment on the baking tray so your bacon and dates do not stick. The dates are high in sugar so when heated, a syrup from them starts melting and will cause sticking.
- Turn them halfway through baking so both sides get evenly golden brown
- If you’d like, stuff your dates with: nuts, cheese, or nut butters for a variety of flavors and textures
- Another option is to season your bacon with spices to bring in another flavor component, such as black pepper or chili powder.
The Monkiewicz family has been perfecting Kayem’s finely crafted meats since 1909 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. They’ve spent the last 100 years focusing on their recipes because they believe that quality meats from a family butcher, cooked to perfection, can bring us all a little closer together. Find Kayem Bacon by using their online store locator. Make sure up pick up a few packs of bacon – you’ll be happy you did!
- 1 pound Kayem Double Smoked Thick Cut Bacon
- 15-20 dried dates
- toothpicks, to secure
- Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Take the dates and cut a slit into each one, to remove the pit inside.
- Close date back up and starting with the thick end of the bacon, wrap around the date. If the bacon is too long, you can trim some.
- Secure with toothpick.
- Place wrapped dates on parchment lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until bacon renders and crisps. You can flip dates halfway using the toothpick to maneuver and that way they crisp up on both sides.
- Serve immediately, although these are delicious at room temperature as well.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? I want to see it! Follow Cooking with Books on Instagram, take a photo, and tag me in it. I love to know what you are making and how you made this recipe your own!