Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Sweet, smoky, and just a bit spicy, these delectable bites are an elegantly enticing appetizer you'll want enjoy again and again. Fresh dates are available in many specialty markets from late summer to mid-fall, as well as year-round through a number of online retailers. Choose plump, soft dates with a smooth, shiny skin, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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    16   medium 
    pitted Medjool dates (about 3/4 pound with pits)
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    45   ounces 
    uncooked chorizo sausage
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    2   ounces 
    dark chocolate bar or chocolate bar with bacon, broken into 16 pieces
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    8   slices 
    Applewood smoked bacon, halved
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    1   recipe 
    Spicy Chocolate Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff each date with about 1 rounded teaspoon sausage. Place a piece of chocolate bar (about 1/4 of a square) in the center of the sausage; fold sausage around the chocolate and close the date. Wrap each date in half a piece of bacon. In a very large skillet, sear bacon-wrapped dates over medium heat until crispy, turning as necessary. Set aside.
In a deep baking dish (about 1-inch side walls) pour Spicy Chocolate Sauce about halfway up the sides of the dish. Transfer the seared dates to the baking dish, spacing about 1-inch apart. Bake dates in sauce for 25 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached, spooning sauce over dates occasionally. Transfer dates to a serving dish and serve sauce alongside. Garnish with cilantro and chocolate bar shavings, if desired.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 145, Fat, total (g) 6, chol. (mg) 11, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 20, Monosaturated fat (g) 2, fiber (g) 2, sugar (g) 18, pro. (g) 4, vit. A (IU) 49, Thiamin (mg) 0, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Folate (Ág) 4, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (Ág) 0, sodium (mg) 160, Potassium (mg) 219, calcium (mg) 20, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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