Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese and Almonds

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

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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