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This is one of my favorite appetizers to make for any celebration because it is both elegant and richly satisfying.

This dish also meets my criteria to be deemed a “go-to” recipe:

  • fast
  • easy
  • delicious
  • beautiful.

The ingredients can be multiplied proportionally to prepare enough of this appetizer to feed a crowd of any size.  Just know that no matter how many you make, there will not be any leftovers!



  • 16 oz pitted dates
  • 8 oz crumbled, blue-cheese
  • 16 oz package of bacon, strips cut in half
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste


  • Cover rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place an oven-safe baking rack in prepared baking sheet.  Spray generously with cooking spray for easy clean-up.
  • Make a long slice in the top of each date.  Open slit and stuff each date with a few large crumbles of blue-cheese.


  • Close up each date, and wrap with a half strip of bacon.
  • Place seam side down on baking rack. Use a toothpick to hold closed if it doesn’t stay sealed on it’s own.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Baste bacon-wrapped dates with pure maple syrup.
  • Rotate pan and bake for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and baste a second time with more maple syrup.
  • Sprinkle with cayenne pepper according to taste.


  • Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.  They are extremely hot.



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