Makes 24 Dates
Think of these addictive cheese-filled dates as an inside-out cheese ball – crackers included!
Inspired by one of my favorite recipes from chef Vivian Howard, we’ve taken pitted dates and
filled them with a mix of fresh cheeses, scallions, parsley and crunchy toasted pecans. For
topping, a buttery cracker crumble. The result is an all-in-one bite that is creamy, crunchy, salty
and sweet – the ultimate party snack! You’ll want to use your prettiest, plumpest dates for this
recipe. If your dates are looking a little dry, place them in a heatproof bowl and cover with
boiling water. Let sit for 30 seconds, then drain and pat dry. They’ll taste like they were just
picked from the tree!
- ½ cup pecan halves
- ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 scallions, very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 24 Rancho Meladuco Medjool dates
- ½ cup crumbled buttery crackers, preferably Ritz
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pecans on a pie plate and bake until fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop.
In a food processor, pulse the cheeses with the butter, scallions, hot sauce and the 2 tablespoons of parsley until just combined. Add the pecans and pulse to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut a slit in each date and remove the pit. Be careful not to cut the dates in half. Scrape the cheese filling into a pastry bag and snip ½-inch off the tip. Pipe the cheese filling into the dates. Alternatively, you can do this with a spoon.
Sprinkle the crushed crackers on the stuffed dates, pressing them gently into the cheese to help adhere. Transfer the dates to a platter and garnish with more parsley. Enjoy!
MAKE AHEAD The cheese mixture can be made up to one day in advance. Bring to room temperature before filling the dates.
recipe & photo: Julia Heffelfinger