During the summer I met Matt, I was an administrative assistant at VPPS. I had barely been hired when one of my co-workers came to me selling cook books for her daughter. I didn’t know this woman (or her daughter) and did not want to spend $15. However, since I was new and wanted to be “nice”, I did it. I bought the book.
Since receiving this cook book, I’ve only used one recipe out of it; this one. This appetizer is super easy to make and is always a hit. Is it a $15-worth appetizer? That’s for you to decide…
1 package of bacon ( I use regular, not thick-cut)
32- 40 pitted dates (You’ll need 2 dates and 2 almonds per slice of bacon, so this number will vary depending on which brand of bacon you buy. For the dates, I used Mariani Premium pitted dates from Sam’s Club)
32- 40 plain whole almonds
brown sugar (Optional, enough to coat)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut your bacon in half; I find it easier to cut the bacon with kitchen shears while it’s in the package. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and place a wire rack on top. Lay your bacon halves on the rack and bake until bacon is half cooked (about 8-10 minutes). If you’re cooking a whole package of bacon, you should be able to fit all of the bacon onto one pan, with some slices slightly overlapping.
3. While bacon is cooking, prepare your dates. If you bought pitted dates, all you have to do is slip an almond into the center. If you decided to buy regular dates, cut a small slit down the center to remove the pit before inserting almond.
4. Count out the amount of toothpicks you need and have them ready. Your hands will get dirty so it’s best to have exactly what you need before you assemble. If you decide to use brown sugar, put enough into a bowl that will lightly coat each bacon-date.
5. After bacon has cooked halfway, remove from oven and allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Usually at this point I’ll use paper towels to blot the bacon and absorb some of the grease.
7. Bake until bacon is cooked through, turning once (about 15-20 minutes).
*The dates I used were on the small side. If you purchase dates that still have the pit, they are usually bigger.
Source: Easy Recipes by Home Economics (FACS) Teachers 2007