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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. Hi Pam,
      I really appreciate you giving the recipe a try, so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xxT

  1. Made this for New Years Eve and it was wonderful!! I used the make ahead tip and everything turned out beautifully!! Everyone loved it. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Keely,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Have the best week! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    SO GOOD! I swapped cranberries for the dates since I had to use them up. People would not stop raving about it

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy New Year!🎆 xxT

  3. 5 stars
    It’s a great recipe. I made it for New years Eve! I did substitute the dates for pecans(oops forgot to buy some), and it still worked great, if there is anyone looking to sub out the dates for any reason.
    The only issue might be the bacon. Maybe my bacon here is huge, but I used only four slices and that was way more than enough! But leftover bacon is never a bad thing 😀
    Excited to make this again, and maybe I’ll remember to buy dates!

    1. Hey Rebecca,
      Awesome! I love to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy New Year!🎆 xTieghan

  4. Epic fail- by the time the bacon was cooked (much longer than it said in recipe), the date pieces were burnt and hard. Definitely cook bacon first, remove, then bake the dates briefly in same pan. My fault though – I know bacon always takes longer than you think – even chopped! Think waiting for Sunday brunch bacon…..will try again

      1. 5 stars
        Great recipe. A nice change from the usual apps.
        Even enjoyed it the next day, leftovers…yum.
        I do recommend precooking the bacon before adding the dates.
        A do again for sure!

        1. Hey Helena,
          Happy Friday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xTieghan

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve now made this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and again today for our small New Years gatherings and it’s a huge hit. The first time my dates got a little overcooked. I think this was probably because I have thick cut bacon that took longer to cook. The second time I doubled the recipe and added the dates about 1/2 way through the bacon cooking and it was perfect. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser. Thanks so much Tieghan! We love your site and cookbooks. I need to collect them all!

      1. Hey Heather,
        Awesome! I love to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a go! Happy New Year!🎆 xTieghan

  5. 4 stars
    I gave this recipe 4 stars because the dates didn’t work for me (too crispy and not a good texture), and I cooked the bacon on the stove top to get it crispy enough. BUT, with leaving the dates out and crisping the bacon, this recipe was 5 stars for me! I love the rosemary honey and I made some easy crostini to go with it. It was so good, even my 2 year old son couldn’t get enough of it. Thank you Tieghan!

  6. Made this for a family get together this evening….it was the best appie on the table!! Everyone raved about it and wanted the recipe! THIS is a keeper! I didn’t have any fresh thyme so used some poultry seasoning and it was delicious.

    1. Hi Esther,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Happy Holidays!💥 xT

  7. This dip was a big hit! But to get the bacon crispy enough definitely took longer than10 minutes… so I ended up kind of under cooking the bacon and overcoooking the dates. next time I would add the dates later!

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Awesome!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Happy Holidays!💥 xT

    1. Wrong recipe!! My comment was for the Sweet Potato Stacks… so good.
      This was a hit, too. I made this appetizer for Thanksgiving and it was requested again for Christmas.. The candied bacon and dates are the perfect sweet and salty, while the goat cheese is a perfectly tangy goodness!!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for Christmas Eve. Everyone loved it! Couldn’t find any block cream cheese so substituted cream cheese spread. It was still great and will definitely be making this again. The blend of creamy, sweet, chewy, etc. was fantastic!

  9. This exceeded my expectations! So stinkin good. I had to walk away from it to keep myself from eating the whole thing. It goes great with crackers too!

    1. Hi Teryn,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Merry Christmas!🎄🎁 xT

    1. Hi Amanda,
      It’s typically served at room temp and the warm bacon will warm it through. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Made this for my book club this past week- it was a hit and DELISH- definitely going to make again- it was also easy. Also found out I love dates! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Hi Lindy,
      Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!🎄🎁 xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    Made this recently for a family Christmas party and it was a huge hit!! Everyone loved it! Highly recommend and very easy!

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