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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: 295 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 absolutely love this recipe. Everyone raved about it and it disappeared first. The goat cheese is faint without being overpowering. This will definitely be a holiday family favorite. Great adaptation. Thanks

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Thank you so very much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Holidays!🎄🎁

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this for two gatherings and it is a huge hit! So delicious!
    I cook the bacon for a bit before adding the dates and I started putting some vino cotto on the dates to give them an extra flavour. This is now my appy go to! Thanks!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT

  3. 5 stars
    Fun recipe for something new and different for our family at least! Seemed festive too with the white and maroon colors for our Christmas dinner. Love the kick of the cayenne & the flavor combo!

    1. Hi Kylie,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT

    1. Hi Rachel,
      I used Raincoast Crisps, but any cracker you like will work! I hope you love the recipe! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    I have only tasted the disassembled dish and it is delish! I am taking it to a dinner party tonight and anxious to hear the oohs and ahhhs.

    I did have to place the bacon with the figs in a skillet to brown up a little. The oven method didn’t seem to crisp it. Any suggestions is appreciated.

    Love your recipes!!

    1. Hi Carol,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, I made this for a holiday party last night and everyone Raved about it. I had so many people say they must have the recipe. It was SO delicious. The only thing I did differently is to use a bit less goat cheese (because not a goat cheese fan) but it was SO YUMMY and the goat cheese actually was delicious in this combo. This will definitely be added to my appetizer list. Also 10 min will not cook up the bacon if you are increasing the recipe, I did for 20 servings and I had to cook bacon/date combo for 20 min so just keep that in mind if you are trying to time a hot appetizer.

    1. Hey Randi,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks so much for making it and happy holidays!❄️ xTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    OK the flavor is THERE! it tastes so yummy, but i would maybe add the dates in very last just to get warm rather than actually baking them? Or maybe i over did it, who knows. Moral of the story is the dates were so very chewy, and it was not a fun texture. i am excited to play around with them though and see how i can keep that from happening because like i said the flavor is 10/10 this recipe is worth figuring out!

    1. Hey Grace,
      Happy Friday! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed. Thanks so much for making it and happy holidays!❄️ xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    The hit of the Christmas party! Everyone wanted the recipe. I thought the toppings were going to be a greater volume than was needed, but I was wrong. The amounts were in perfect balance.

  8. 5 stars
    This is so so so delicious! I made it for Thanksgiving as an appetizer and served it with crackers. It was DEVOURED in a very short time…OMGoodness. My Publix manager’s eyes lit up when I described this recipe and could she help me find the dates. I am giving her this recipe.

  9. I agree with the folks on the burnt comments. But, I just did it on top of the stove instead, in a cast-iron skillet, and when the bacon was 1/2 done, I put in the sugar/honey/rosemary/cayenne since sugar makes burning easy. When it was 3/4 done, I dropped the dates in the skillet too–came out perfectly. It probably wasn’t as roasty as HBH would have intended but it was cooked perfectly and truly delicious.

  10. 3 stars
    This recipe in theory looked delicious, but the bacon took way longer to cook through in the oven so the dates burned in the meantime, and the recipe as a whole tasted too sweet. I would cut the amount of honey in half.

  11. 5 stars
    Amazing flavors!! I accidentally burned the bacon and dates the first go around because, well, kids. But it was a blessing in disguise because the dates were charred, but bacon was just over cooked. So I separated them the second try and, perfection. I like my bacon fairly crispy. For me, cooking the bacon and dates separately was the right call. Plus, it saved me a trip to the orthodontist (two kids in braces + super sticky dates = no no!). Made it for Thanksgiving. Making again for Christmas Eve.

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    I was so excited to fine this recipe, I had a similar starter at the TIME Winery in Penticton British Columbia…it was fantastic and this recipe did not disappoint, my sons’ new favorite!

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend! xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    I had this at a party the other evening and everyone was raving about it! It was one of the best appetizers I have ever tasted! The combo of sweet/ heat/ salty is delicious!

    1. Hey Devon,
      Happy Friday! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for giving it a try! xTieghan

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! This was amazing! Definitely a keeper and a new favorite. Can’t wait to serve this over the holidays!! Yum.

    1. Hey Sheila,
      Wonderful! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Have the best week:) xTieghan