While in Palm Desert, I visited the famous Shield Date Farm. I love dates but I had no idea how difficult it is to grow a date. I learned a lot about dates at the farm and I had the opportunity to sample various type of dates. The Madjool date is the king of all dates.
Medjool dates are a FRESH FRUIT. Most people think of dates as a dried fruit because they’re thinking of the dates you buy in the baking aisle. Medjool dates are actually harvested from the date palm, cleaned, sorted and packaged right away. There’s no processing and they’re never physically or chemically dried. That’s why you’ll find them in the produce section at the grocery store. I am telling you, they are the best type of dates you can eat. I am suggesting you use this date in this recipe but not necessary.
Medjool dates have a rich, almost caramel-like taste and a soft, chewy texture whereas regular dates, commonly called Deglet Noor, are usually smaller and have a firm flesh and a sweet, delicate flavor.
Anyway, while at the Shield Date Farm, we enjoyed bacon wrapped medjool and IT WAS MIND BLOWING. I wanted to share this recipe with you so you can enjoy this during the holidays. The best!
- 8 slices bacon (I find that thin bacon works better)
- 16 Medjool dates
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening. Remove the pit.
- Using a spoon, stuff a small amount of goat cheese into the cavity of each date and press the sides together to close.
- Cut the bacon slices in half. Wrap each date with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Arrange evenly on a baking sheet with raised edges (otherwise grease will get everywhere) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the dates and use the toothpick to turn each one so it’s laying on its side. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, until browned to your liking, and turn the dates to the other side and repeat.
- Remove from the oven, place on a paper towel lined plate, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
How do I get my bacon extra crispy? FIrst: check out the toothpick hack above. For crispier, browned bacon, set the oven temperature at 375. For crispier bacon, bake longer. Keep leftovers in the fridge. My bacon didn’t cook. What did I do wrong? Usually, the bacon pieces wrap around the dates 1.5 times. If it’s wrapping more than twice around the date, trim your bacon slices so they’re a little shorter. If that bacon layer is too thick, it won’t cook. Make sense?