Filling Options for Bacon Wrapped Dates (optional)
4ounces blue cheese
4ounces goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place an oven-safe baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil.
While the oven is preheating, soak toothpicks in water for 20 minutes and then drain from the water.
Slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening. Remove the pit if needed. Fill the cavity with either 1 almond, or 1 teaspoon each of either goat cheese, cream cheese, or blue cheese. Use a spoon or your fingers to be sure filling is inserted fully into the date and not oozing out the sides.
Cut each strip of bacon in half. Wrap one piece of cut bacon around each date. Either secure with a pre-soaked toothpick or place seam side down onto the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the dates. Bake for additional 5-8 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.
Place the bacon-wrapped dates onto a paper towel-lined plate to absorb grease and then serve.
Serving: You can keep this appetizer at room temperature for 2 hours safely.Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To Prepare in Advance: Assemble the dates up to baking and refrigerate up to 48 hours or until ready to bake. Bake right before serving.Pan: In place of a rimmed baking sheet with a rack, use a broiler pan.