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Pecan-Stuffed Dates With Balsamic (A Perfect Thanksgiving Snack) Recipe

hands picking a stuffed date
hands picking a stuffed date - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

If you're the cook in the household, cooler weather and falling leaves may bring about thoughts of the upcoming holidays and more specifically the food, the table, and the guests. Of course, you have those traditional recipes favorites that are the same every year, but should you mix it up? While tradition and familiarity are important aspects of holiday celebrations, introducing creative elements to your holiday menu can add a little fun and make your holiday gatherings even more enjoyable and special. Appetizers are a great place to showcase your creativity.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for pecan stuffed dates with balsamic and says, "These little stuffed dates are the perfect snack to put out on Thanksgiving day while the turkey is cooking and everyone is anxiously awaiting the big meal. It's a quick sweet and savory snack that blends in well with just about everything." And, conveniently, you can make these little snacks ahead of time, so that's one less thing to worry about on the big day.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

Gather The Ingredients For Pecan-Stuffed Dates With Balsamic

stuffed dates recipe
stuffed dates recipe - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

To make this recipe, you only need five ingredients. Pick up some medjool dates to start. "I like to use medjool dates because they are larger and sweeter than other varieties. I buy them in the produce aisle where they are super fresh, and since they are in season in the fall, they're plentiful," Hahn says.

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Then you'll need some cream cheese, pecan halves, rosemary, and balsamic glaze. We told you it was simple!

Step 1: Cut Open The Dates

cutting date open
cutting date open - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Cut the medjool dates in half lengthwise, and if they have a round stem, remove it and discard.

Step 2: Discard The Pits

removing date pit
removing date pit - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Remove and discard the pits.

Step 3: Stuff With Cream Cheese

filling date with creamcheese
filling date with creamcheese - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Stuff the inside of each date with cream cheese.

Step 4: Add The Pecan

putting pecan in date
putting pecan in date - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Add a pecan half on top of the cream cheese and press to secure it in place.

Step 5: Chop The Rosemary

chopped rosemary on board
chopped rosemary on board - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Chop the rosemary.

Step 6: Add The Rosemary

adding rosemary to dates
adding rosemary to dates - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Top each date with chopped rosemary.

Step 7: Drizzle On Balsamic Glaze

adding glaze to dates
adding glaze to dates - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Drizzle the dates with balsamic glaze.

Step 8: Serve The Dates

dates on board
dates on board - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Serve the pecan-stuffed dates.

How Can I Customize The Pecan Stuffed Dates?

tray of stuffed dates
tray of stuffed dates - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

There are many ways to modify this recipe. Consider using flavored cream cheese, going either the sweet or savory route, such as honey or chive, to add extra layers of flavor. You can also substitute cream cheese with goat cheese or blue cheese, and if you want to make this recipe dairy-free, use vegan cream cheese.

Instead of pecans, use other types of nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios for the filling. You can even go nut free here, and use toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

For a more savory profile, consider using minced garlic, shallots, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, or kalamata olives in the cream cheese filling. Or to go in a sweeter direction and include dried fruits like apricots, figs, or cranberries for extra texture and flavor.

Experiment with different herbs to complement the rosemary or use in place of rosemary. Fresh thyme, basil, or tarragon can provide unique flavors.

What Can I Pair With Pecan-Stuffed Dates?

dates with hummus and vegetables
dates with hummus and vegetables - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Pecan-stuffed dates can be a delicious and versatile appetizer or snack, and they pair well with a variety of other foods and beverages. Add them to a charcuterie board with cured meats like salami, pepperoni and a selection of cheeses such as brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, or cheddar. The combination of sweet and savory is a classic and delicious pairing.

Provide a platter of sliced carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers to balance the richness of the dates with fresh, crisp textures. Alongside that you can serve a simple hummus or a pumpkin hummus to fit the season.

Include a variety of bread, crackers, or breadsticks for texture and a base for building small bites. Offer a selection of olives, both green and black, to balance the sweetness of the dates with some briny, salty notes.

For beverages, pair the pecan-stuffed dates with apple cider, either hot or cold, for a refreshing and seasonal beverage. Some red or white wine will also be nice as the sweetness of the dates complements the flavors in the wine.

Pecan-Stuffed Dates With Balsamic (A Perfect Thanksgiving Snack) Recipe

stuffed dates on plate
stuffed dates on plate - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 5mCook Time:Yield: 8 ServingsIngredients

  • 15 medjool dates

  • ½ cup soft cream cheese

  • 12 pecan halves

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Directions

  1. Cut the medjool dates in half lengthwise, and if they have a round stem, remove it and discard.

  2. Remove and discard the pits.

  3. Stuff the inside of each date with cream cheese.

  4. Add a pecan half on top of the cream cheese and press to secure it in place.

  5. Chop the rosemary.

  6. Top each date with chopped rosemary.

  7. Drizzle the dates with balsamic glaze.

  8. Serve the pecan-stuffed dates.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.