These little Devils on Horseback appetizers are called that because the dates are dark. Angels on Horseback use apricots instead of the dates. We have absolutely no idea why they are 'on horseback'. Perhaps it's because the bacon sits on the dates like a person sits on a horse? At any rate, these little bundles are just delicious.
You can make these little goodies ahead of time, then broil just before serving. And you can use any firm cheese you'd like. We've made them with Jarlsberg, Havarti, Gouda, and Fontina.
This is an ideal appetizer for entertaining. Just about everyone loves the combination of salty bacon with rich and sweet dates and smooth cheese. They should be served warm. You can assemble them ahead of time, and refrigerate, well covered, until just before serving. Another great idea for using this recipe is to add them to a salad. Just place two or three of the little bundles on top of a salad of mixed greens that have been dressed with a vinaigrette or honey mustard dressing.
Then just before serving, broil or bake them, depending on which type of bacon you used, adding a minute or two to make sure the cheese melts. The combination of crisp bacon and soft melted cheese is what makes this appetizer recipe, so they should be served soon after you make them.
- Cut a small slit in the side of each date. There may already be a slit since the dates have been pitted. Carefully push a piece of the cheese into the date. Smooth the date back around the cheese if you can. Handle the dates gently because they are fragile.
- Wrap one of the pieces of the bacon around each stuffed date, covering the cheese, and secure with a toothpick if necessary. Place all of the stuffed and wrapped dates on broiler pan with a rack.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the bacon wrapped dates 4 to 6" from the heat source for 9 to 12 minutes, turning twice during the cooking time, until the bacon is crisp; don't let it burn! Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.
- You can also use pre-cooked packaged bacon to make this recipe; that's what we prefer. Cut the bacon in half and wrap around the stuffed date. Then bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 6 to 9 minutes or until the bacon is sizzling and the cheese melts.