Monday, March 23, 2009

Maple Nut-Filled Dates

After a day of skiing, Leslie Freeman wanted a bite of something quick, rich, and sweet. She came up with these cheese-filled dates, which make a great appetizer or apr├Ęs-ski snack. She uses Bellwether Farms' flavorful, creamy crescenza cheese, made in Sonoma County. You can substitute another soft cheese, such as teleme or brie. PREP AND COOK TIME: About 15 minutes

Makes 20 date halves; 8 to 10 servings
* 10 Medjool dates
* 1/4 cup soft cheese (see note above)
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Cut dates in half lengthwise and remove pits. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon cheese into the cavity of each date half. Arrange dates on a serving plate.

2. Melt butter in a 1- to 2-quart pan over low heat, then increase heat to medium and cook until butter is foamy and starting to brown. Add nuts and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add syrup and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

3. Lift nuts from the syrup with a slotted spoon and press a few pieces into the soft cheese in each date. Drizzle syrup over the dates and serve warm.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 114 (35% from fat)
Protein: 1.8g
Fat: 4.4g (sat 1.5)
Carbohydrate: 18g
Fiber: 1.3g
Sodium: 41mg
Cholesterol: 5.1mg

recipes by:Leslie Freeman, Boise, ID, Sunset
photo:Christina Schmidhofer


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