Soak toothpicks in water for 20 minutes.
Cut open dates and remove pit. Stuff with an almond or a teaspoon of soft cheese if desired.
Wrap each date in a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place on baking sheet lined with rack.
Bake until the bacon is crispy.
Place on a paper-towel lined plate to slightly cool and absorb grease. And then serve warm or at room temperature.
Delicious an so easy! I made them with just dates and the bacon, but next time I will add one of the cheese options.