Beretta’s Bacon-Wrapped Dates

I made these for our wedding in 2011. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of a year’s worth of trial and error by me, and lots of testing courtesy of Husband. Enjoy!

Beretta’s Bacon Wrapped Dates 

( I allow for at least 5 per person since they are addictive.)

  • Dates (pitted)
  • About 2 cups Port Wine ( we used Ruby but you can use any kind, even vintage)
  • Goat Cheese (I’ve used Stilton but either works, depending on your politic)
  • Smoked Almonds (I’ve used walnuts but these have the best flavor)
  • Brown Sugar (about 2 tablespoons total per batch)
  • Pancetta (regular bacon is too thick and becomes too greasy and clumsy; prosciutto would work, too)

Soak the dates in port wine overnight. The next day, combine some port and the cheese in a bowl, with about a teaspoon of brown sugar. Stir until blended together.

Preheat oven to 325.  (This is imporant since too intense of a blast of heat will dry out your dates.)

Open each date and insert about a teaspoon or so of cheese mix and a smoked almond. This can get tedious and messy, especially if you’re making a bunch of them.  Next, take a somewhat narrow strip of Pancetta or prosciutto and wind it around the date a few times. Don’t make it too thick, since too much bacon on one date can be a bad thing.

Lay out the dates on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish hit with some cooking spray. Tent with foil and Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or so, checking/testing often. Don’t overcook them or cook at a higher temperature, this makes them dry. You want the Pancetta to be cooked thoroughly.

Meanwhile, reduce about a cup of port wine and some brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. This takes awhile to get it thick.

Serve the dates stuck with a toothpick at room temperature, or warm, drizzled with the port reduction.

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