So I have an amazing little appetizer to share with you guys today! I first started making these over the holiday season and they were a huge hit. I mean, wrap just about anything in bacon and it will probably be a hit at a party...but still. These are amazing. And easy!
All you need are three ingredients - manchego cheese, pitted dates, and bacon. I have discovered that if I don't buy the fancy Medjool kind that dates are actually very affordable, only $3 for a 16 oz container at my Publix, and they work great in this recipe. Manchego cheese is the splurge ingredient for these, but I think it's important to stick to that type because it isn't overly melty so it doesn't leak all over the place, and has a nice mild nutty flavor.
Putting them together is very simple, and can be done ahead of time, so great for entertaining. Start the prep by cutting the manchego into 1/2 inch chunks, putting slits in the dates, and cutting the bacon slices in half.
Then you assemble - stick the manchego inside the date, wrap it in a 1/2 slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Set aside.
When you're ready to cook them, preheat your broiler to 500 degrees and put the rack in the topmost position. Line a baking sheet in foil, and if you have it available, a wire rack to elevate the bites (this will allow the bacon fat to drain and help it get more crisp).
Broil the bites for 7 minutes, then flip and broil for another 5-7 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and slightly crisp. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and serve.
And watch them disappear! I served these as our Valentines appetizer and Hubs and I devoured them in about five minutes flat. SO good.