Tasty tidbits for New Year’s gatherings

Wrap up this app at your holiday cocktail party


Cocktail parties feature prominently on social schedules each holiday season. Such get-togethers are convenient because the foods and beverages served are designed to be small and portable, which can save any holiday host time in the kitchen. 

There may be plenty of prepared foods in the grocer’s freezer that can be served for gatherings, but the taste of easy, homemade offerings can mingle with the time-savers when guests arrive. Bacon-wrapped, goat cheese-stuffed dates are an easily prepared appetizer that pairs sweet with savory. Even better, these morsels are delicious when served warm out of the oven or can be eaten at room temperature when late-arriving guests stroll in.  

Wrap up cocktail party spreads with this recipe, courtesy of “Spectacular Spreads: 50 Amazing Food Spreads for Any Occasion,” by Meagan Brown.  

Bacon-wrapped, goat cheese-stuffed dates 

Makes 16 

16 pitted dates 

8 thin slices bacon, halved 

4 ounces creamy goat cheese 


Hot honey for garnish 

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

If your dates are not already pitted, slice the dates lengthwise on one side, but not all the way through, to create an opening. Remove the pit. 

Using a teaspoon measure, fill the cavity of each date with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese and gently press the sides together to close a bit. 

Wrap each date with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Arrange the bacon-wrapped dates on the prepared baking sheet. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the dates halfway through so the bacon is evenly cooked. Transfer the bacon-wrapped dates to a serving platter and drizzle with the hot honey. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


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