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Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, the no-fuss holiday appetizer that’s addictive, festive, and perfect for entertaining! It’s quick, easy, and everyone loves this creamy goat cheese dip with spicy-sweet candied bacon and dates. We’ve got bacon tossed with a little sugar and spice, then baked up with dates until it’s candied and completely delicious. There never seems to be enough of this easy dip…addictive, festive, and perfect for holiday entertaining!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com
 

It’s officially appetizer season! I’ve said this before, but my appetizer recipes are lacking compared to dinners and sweet treats. I have no idea why, but I just don’t share enough appetizers…except for when the holidays roll around. In which case I love a good appetizer recipe.

For the last few weeks I’ve been really scratching my brain thinking up holiday recipes. I want this year’s recipes to really be some of the best! So I looked back at some old favorites. The ones our moms and grandmas would make. I asked myself, how can I reinvent these a bit. Make them even more delicious? Possibly easier?

Some recipes were kind of a lost cause, but there were others that gave me so much inspiration.

Bacon wrapped dates are one of those vintage-style recipes that many people love to serve at holiday parties. It’s funny because in general, dates are not the most popular food, but when you wrap them up in bacon?

Everyone loves them.

I wanted to reinvent the classic appetizer and turn it into an easy-to-make dip. I had to rework this one a bit, but I’m so in love with the recipe. It’s delicious.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

The bacon

Start with the bacon, I love a spicy-sweet candied bacon so I knew I needed to incorporate that here. The bacon gets tossed with fresh rosemary, a small amount of brown sugar, honey…and then a good pinch of cayenne. It’s spicy, sweet, and with hints of rosemary, so delicious.

Toss that all up on a baking sheet, add some plump torn dates, and bake everything together until the bacon caramelizes.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

The goat cheese

While the bacon is cooking, mix up the goat cheese. Add the goat cheese to a food processor with cream cheese, olive oil, and salt. Then whip everything together until the cheese is light and creamy, it’s easy.

Then mix up some honey with rosemary and cayenne for serving.

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

Serve it up

Spoon the creamy goat cheese into a nice shallow bowl, then spoon the warm bacon and dates over the cheese. Drizzle with the sweet and spicy honey, then enjoy with toasted bread for dipping.

Honestly, it’s pretty close to being the perfect holiday appetizer. And the rosemary keeps them flavorful and festive too with that pop of green.

Just as great for Thanksgiving as it will be for all upcoming holiday gatherings. I know I’ll be making this over and over throughout the holiday season. We already love whipped goat cheese…this is just BETTER!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy holiday appetizers?? Here are my favorites: 

Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twists

Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Pull Apart Roasted Garlic Pizza Dip Sliders

Lastly, if you make this Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 240 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. On the baking sheet, toss together the bacon, 1 tablespoon rosemary, the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon honey, and the cayenne. Arrange in an even layer. Tear the dates and scatter them around the bacon. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the bacon is crisping.
    3. Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The goat cheese mix can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, but bring to room temp before serving.
    4. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup honey, 1 tablespoon rosemary, a pinch of cayenne – to taste, and a pinch of salt.
    5. Spoon the goat cheese into a serving bowl and then top with the warm bacon and dates. Drizzle over a little the rosemary honey. Serve with bread or crackers.

Notes

To Make Ahead: the goat cheese can be made 3 days ahead and kept in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. The bacon/dates can be assembled and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. 
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Whipped Goat Cheese with Warm Candied Bacon and Dates | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this dip and piped it into endives because I had over 30 guests and wanted a finger food. It was a huge hit. Soo good.

    1. Hey Noreen,
      Happy Sunday! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! What a great idea! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    We enjoyed this as an appetizer at a Thanksgiving dinner. It was so amazing that I could have just feasted on it & skipped the turkey!

    1. Hi Margaret,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  3. Wow, just wow!! Perhaps my new favorite appetizer ever! For those of you wondering, my husband made it while I was prepping the Herby Mushroom Croissant Stuffing. It was so easy, HE could do it! You should have heard the raving comments! My boys won’t go anywhere near goat cheese (the idea grosses them out) but they were shoveling this in their mouths! (I never told them, it was goat cheese). Huge hit, and definitely my go to moving forward. The slight heat of the cayenne was appropriately placed. Love this!

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

    1. Hi Marissa,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  4. Honestly everyone loved this as a Thanksgiving appetizer. We ended up cooking the bacon and dates about 20 min to get brown enough, next time I would cook the dates perhaps separately and only 10 minutes with honey mixture on both.

    1. Kate, I had the same problem with the bacon, we had really thick slices and the dates were pretty chewy by the time the bacon was crisp. Fortunately, that was a test batch I made last weekend. When I made it again Wednesday night for Thanksgiving, I partially precooked the bacon on paper towels before cutting it up and mixing with the dates. It came out perfectly and I didn’t have a bunch of extra fat to pour off the baking sheet.

    2. Hi Kate,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Huge hit at Thanksgiving! I think I might try with hot honey I have next time when I have a more adventurous crowd.

    1. Hi Cassie,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hi Emma,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Not only is it easy but it’s sooooo good! Everyone loved it and was the first appetizer to disappear. Definitely keeping as a family favorite.

    1. 5 stars
      Made this for Thanksgiving, and it was a mega hit. I accidentally doubled the honey, and I would do that again because of how popular this was. I did steps 2, 3, and 4 ahead of time and so this recipe came together really easily. It’s a new family favorite.

      1. Hi Erica,
        Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great weekend! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kelly,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

    1. Hi Monique,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  7. Made this for Thanksgiving at my mother in-law’s and it was a massive hit. Even my husband, who is the pickiest of eaters loved it and asked me if we could stop at a grocery store to pick up ingredients for it again!

    1. Hi Mackenzie,
      I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  8. Tieghan: I have been using your recipes for severs years and have never had something that we didn’t like; you are a genius. I made this for Thanksgiving today and out my own twist on it: I used a Chili Lime spice mix from Trader Joe’s instead of cayenne. My husband made too much bacon; I had him cook just the bacon last night because I was distracted by the fact that my oven broke yesterday and I read the recipe wrong. Today when I went to put things together I threw the bacon, dates, Rosemary, and agave mixture (no honey, because why would I have something that’s always on the cabinet actually on hand when I need it?) and spices into the toaster oven for 15 minutes. Mixed the goat cheese with vegan cream cheese (dairy-free sister) and then realized I had enough bacon mix for two layers. My taste test was good, so I think it’s going to be a hit. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Tricia,
      Thank you so very much for your kind message! I am so glad you have been enjoying the recipes and truly appreciate you being here! xTieghan

    1. Hi Sabrina,
      If anything, I would prep the cheese in advance and save the topping for the day of. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    2. Sabrina, I made everything the night before and refrigerated separately. We had a little over an hour drive to our destination and I briefly microwaved the topping and honey, which worked perfectly.

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      The bacon is going to cook in step 2. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan