These simple, hyper-flavorful appetizers, which balance salty crisp bacon with sweet chewy dates, with a rich almond center, are a popular bar snack at the Red Cat in New York City. Served piled high on a plate, they're a perfect cocktail-party finger food.
- 24 large moist dates, such as medjool
- 12 not-too-thick slices of bacon
- 2 oz. softened goat cheese
- 24 whole toasted unsalted almonds
Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain 1⁄4" tip.
Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into the opening of each stuffed date. Wrap 1 half-piece of bacon around width of each date and put dates, seam side down, on a baking sheet, at least 1⁄2" apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool briefly before serving.