Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Almonds

Ingredients:
18 (1 by 1/4-inch) pieces cream cheese
18 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
18 salted and roasted whole almonds
6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
Maple Balsamic to drizzle
Special equipment: 18 wooden picks

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 400F. Stuff one piece of cheese and one almond into each date, then wrap one piece of bacon around each date and secure bacon with a toothpick if desired. Arrange dates, bacon seam down and 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan. Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel or parchment. Serve immediately.

*Tested in Easy Entertaining Cooking Class

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