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These goat cheese- (aka chevre-) stuffed dates topped with candied pecans are the perfect two-bite appetizer to serve during the upcoming holidays. Dates, eaten by themselves, can be overly sweet, but the addition of orange-thyme-spiked chevre and a crunchy, candied pecan makes the perfect foil.

Chevre-stuffed dates are a delightfully seasonal holiday appetizer.

Chevre-stuffed dates are a delightful seasonal holiday appetizer.

Chevre-Stuffed Dates

adapted from Food52.com
These sweet and savory stuffed dates make for the perfect holiday appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients
  

  • For the Candied Pecans:
  • 1/4 cup light agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on heat preference
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • For the dates:
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon orange or tangerine zest
  • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese (such as Stone Hollow Farmstead set in a bowl at room temperature to soften a bit
  • 24 Medjool dates pitted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place agave syrup in a bowl or pie plate over gently boiling water for 1 minute to allow for easier coating of pecans.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix the five-spice powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
  • Toss pecans in agave. Add spice mixture and stir to coat. Place the pecans on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, watching carefully, so as not to burn.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Let cool.
  • While pecans are baking, combine the thyme, orange zest and goat cheese in a small bowl.
  • Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture into each date. Top each with a pecan and serve.
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