Baked Goat Cheese with Bacon and Dates
This Baked Goat Cheese appetizer is a special one. Admittedly, it’s not something I would make on a casual Saturday (okay… I might. But probably not).
You need a good amount of goat cheese for the baked appetizer along with dates. Both of which aren’t something I would normally buy and tend to be a bit expensive. So it’s a special occasion appetizer, but luckily there are a few special occasions right around the corner and I think this app would fit perfectly on any table.
The base of the dip is a mix of goat cheese, cream cheese, honey and lemon. Honestly, it’s good as-is and you could stop there. But, to kick it up a notch, I top mine after it comes out of the oven with a homemade date bacon jam that’s pretty crazy.
You need a good sturdy piece of bread to hold up to this bake goat cheese dip so pick up a baguette or two as well!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mash together goat cheese, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey. Transfer to baking dish.
- Bake cheese at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until browned around the edges.
- Meanwhile, make topping. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add chopped bacon and cook until bacon is crispy, maybe 6-7 minutes. Remove bacon and drain off all grease except for 1 tablespoon.
- Add dates to the skillet along with 1 tablespoon water and simmer until dates break down a bit and form jelly. Stir in half of the bacon.
- When cheese is hot out of the oven, scoop on date topping and sprinkle on the rest of the crispy bacon. Also garnish with red pepper flakes and fresh chives.
- Serve immediately with a good crusty baguette.
Baked Goat Cheese
The base of this appetizer is pretty straightforward, but each piece is important. Don’t skimp on the lemon zest!
Mix that all together really well and transfer it to a baking dish. Bake it at 350 degrees F. until it’s browned around the edges and maybe even bubbling a bit (although it’s too thick to bubble like queso).
Meanwhile, crisp some bacon in a small skillet over medium-low heat.
Once the bacon comes out, pour off the bacon grease but leave about a tablespoon of it. Then add the chopped dates plus a splash of water to help it come together. Let it cook for a few minutes until it forms a jam.
Stir in about half of the reserved bacon.
Here’s my baked cheese. It’s great like this, but we can do better.
Spread on the date topping and then sprinkle on extra bacon!
Garnish the baked goat cheese heavily with red pepper flakes and fresh chives!
Load it up and CHOMP!
Happy Holidays everybody! I’m taking off a few days from posting but will be back after Christmas!