Let me tell you those go so fast. Most friends will tell you they had to cut themselves off at Fifteen. We estimated my daughter ate about 10….
However, because it adds only about 90 seconds to the whole shebang, I do like brushing the bacon with a mixture of cider vinegar, maple syrup or honey, and some mild pepper flakes. From brand to brand, bacon can be wildly inconsistent. Some are too salty and need sweetness. Some are too sweet and need salt. But all, I find, benefit from a little blast of acidity, the sugar in the glaze increases the caramelization we are after, and the pepper makes it more dynamic.
Finally, I don’t really care what the timer says; the only thing that matters it that they’re cooked long enough that they’re nicely browned and crisp and sizzly. If not, bake them longer. Bacon should be crisp. The dates will forgive, and usually get more infused and chewy and salty.
Cider-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Date :
This recipe has a few variables. Most thin bacon can be split in half to easily wrap two dates. You want to make sure that your bacon will wrap around each date twice before securing it with a toothpick as it will shrink a lot in the oven. Bigger or smaller dates will change the yield, too. I’m using Trader Joe’s today, for reference; each package has 14 slices and wraps 28 dates. I find bacon easier to work with cold from the fridge. If you can track down pitted dates, this fantastically easy recipe is even more so, but should you have no choice but to pit your own, it’s not hard, just make a slit down the side of the date and you can pop the pit out. If you’d like to be fancy, this is really nice with some rosemary sprigs on the tray, roasted in the bacon drippings, cider vinegar, and salt.
- 12 ounces bacon (thinner is better), each strip cut into two segments
- 6 ounces pitted dates (about 28)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- A few pinches aleppo-style mild red pepper flakes
- Flaky sea salt
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Wind bacon around each date, securing it with a toothpick and arranging it on a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet or roasting dish. Combine cider vinegar, maple syrup, and pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush or spoon over each bacon-wrapped date; you can even very briefly roll them in the mixture to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for as little as 15 and up to 35 minutes, until bacon is a deep, crisp, sizzling brown — this varies a lot between brands. Check in on the early end, and then every 5 minutes thereafter, to get the color and crisp just right. If you have extra vinegar mixture, you can brush it on again in the second half of the baking time. Serve warm, sprinkling with more sea salt and/or pepper flakes to taste.
Do ahead: Bringing these to a party? They rewarm well at almost any temperature. You can also bake them most of the way at home — until the bacon is cooked and mostly crisp, but not browned — and finish them up where you are, rewarming them as you do.
Leftovers: Nah, no such thing.