I'm excited to share this fun, festive and delicious appetizer that will start your holiday parties off right: creamy whipped goat cheese topped with a caramelized mixture of rosemary, honey, spiced bacon and dates. You will have everyone loving this dip! It's quick, easy and perfect for entertaining.
This recipe is a take on the classic bacon wrapped dates that everyone loves to serve at parties. I decided to put my own spin on this appetizer by turning into one of my favorite foods: a dip. The combination of goat cheese, bacon, and dates has got to be one of the best flavor combos that you must try.
As much as I love stuffed dates, I don't like all the prep. Although worth it, it's a bit time consuming. There never seems to be enough time during the holiday season and this will give you some of that time back. This dip has the same flavor profile you know and love but cuts the prep time in half.
Start with the bacon and dates. Roughly chop the pitted dates, bacon, rosemary, and thinly slice the shallot.
Toss everything together with the honey, and cayenne. Bake until bacon is crisp.
While the bacon is cooking, make the whipped goat cheese. Have both the goat cheese and cream cheese at room temperature. In a food processor, add the goat cheese, cream cheese, remaining honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until smooth and creamy. Remember to scrape down the sides as needed. Spoon out mixture into a serving bowl and set aside.
If you don't have a food processor, you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
You can make the whipped goat cheese ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Once the bacon and dates come out of the oven, add them to the top of the goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or more honey. These are optional. I love adding hot honey to the top for added heat and sweetness. To serve, toast some bread and enjoy!
Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Bacon and Dates
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
1 log (10 oz) of goat cheese, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
4 Tablespoons honey, split
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
12 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
6 slices raw bacon, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Toasted bread for dipping
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper
- On the sheet tray, toss together bacon, shallot, rosemary, 1 tablespoon honey, and cayenne. Arrange in an even layer. Bake until bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, 3 Tablespoons honey, pinch of kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Spoon the whipped goat cheese into a serving bowl.
- Top whipped goat cheese with the warm bacon and dates. Drizzle topped with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar (optional). I recommend drizzling the top with hot honey.
- Toast bread and serve!
To learn how to make more holiday appetizers, don't miss our Customer Appreciation Day on Sunday, December 4 from 11am-3pm at Lincoln Square. We'll have tastings of our favorite appetizers, a chef demo at noon and tastings of our favorite holiday libations. Plus, you'll save 10% off everything, including wine (excludes Vitamix). Don't miss this fun day!