Stuffed Dates with Asher Blue & For Good Granola Cranberry Spice
These stuffed dates are filled with flavor and are a perfect balance of sweet and savory. They are an easy and impressive appetizer for entertaining, or an elevated snack when you are looking for something more indulgent. For Good Granola's Cranberry Spice buckwheat granola adds a nutty taste and texture with beautiful cranberry seeds and mellow cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise spice. Our Asher Blue brings a contrasting creamy and rich texture with earthy, grassy flavor notes and a mild salt finish to compliment the sweet dates. This recipe makes 24 dates.
Difficulty level: Easy
2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch pieces
3 Tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
3 oz Sweet Grass Dairy Asher Blue, crumbled
3 oz cream cheese, room temp.
3/4 cup For Good Granola Cranberry Spice
24 Medjool dates, dried with pits or pitted (see note)
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Tablespoons Sweet Grass Dairy Asher Blue, crumbled for garnish
2 Tablespoons For Good Granola Cranberry Spice, for garnish
Balsamic Glaze, to finish
Add bacon to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook until crisp, then transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon fat. Add shallot to pan with bacon fat and cook over medium heat, until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Add orange juice to the pan and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer shallot and bacon to a small bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Using a medium bowl, add cream cheese, Asher Blue, and Cranberry Spice Granola. Fold, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add cooled shallot mixture, bacon, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Stir until the mixture is uniform.
If dates have pits, slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening and remove the pit. Using a small spoon or portion scoop, stuff dates with blue cheese and granola mixture. Repeat with remaining dates until all dates are stuffed.
Plate the filled dates on a serving platter. Garnish with additional Asher Blue and Cranberry Spice granola and finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
Note: We prefer using dates with pits as they are typically more tender and plump than pre-pitted dates. If you would prefer to skip the step of pitting or can't find dates with pits, you can certainly substitute for pitted dates. The Asher Blue and Cranberry Spice Granola filling can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temp before filling dates.
**We loved collaborating with For Good Granola on this recipe. This women-owned company is based in Chicago and crafts flavor-indulgent buckwheat granola that goes beyond the ordinary. And, they have a passion for nourishment that goes well beyond food. They give to organizations and support programs that encourage, empower, and elevate kids and adults with disabilities and the families and caregivers who champion them.To learn more about For Good Granola or to purchase their products please visit their website here. We promise you, their granola will change your life.**