We had Mediterranean-themed potluck for my co-worker’s wedding shower since they were taking a Mediterranean cruise for their honeymoon. I planned to bring a chickpea salad, but the night before I decided to also do cream cheese stuffed dates so that I could have something sweet. I knew they’d probably have cake or something and I wouldn’t be able to have it since it wouldn’t be gluten-free. I already had all of the ingredients for these, so I just whipped them up. It really is a dump/taste recipe, because it depends on the sweetness and amount of cinnamon that you prefer. I hate to give measurements for recipes like this because: 1. I don’t usually measure myself and 2. people get all hung up on the amounts instead of just going with what tastes good to them.
You could use any type of dried dates – I had Tunisian Deglet Noor, so I used those, but you can use any plump pitted date. It’s worth buying pitted dates because I don’t even know how hard it is to pit dates, but it’s probably hard – plus there are already slits in the dates that make them easy to fill with the cream cheese. This recipe makes more filling than you probably need, but that’s because it makes more sense to use a whole brick of cream cheese than to shove a half of brick back in the fridge and forget about it until it molds. I just used the extra spiced cream cheese on GF bagels.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates
- Dates – however many you need…I used about 20
- 1 brick of cream cheese, I used /3 less fat kind
- cinnamon, to taste
- honey, to taste
- vanilla or vanilla sugar
Set the cream cheese out to soften while you prepare the dates. I initially started using a paring knife to slit the dates, but then I realized that they already have a slit from being pitted, so I just started finding the slit and unrolling them from there. After unrolling all of the dates, stir a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon and honey into the cream cheese by hand or mixer. Add more to taste. If using vanilla, stir a little of that in – maybe 1/4 teaspoon.
Once the cream cheese mixture is to your liking, spoon it into a ziploc bag or frosting bag. If using ziploc, push the cream cheese to one corner and squeeze out the extra air. Snip off the tip of the ziploc and fill the dates with the cream cheese mixture. It’s that simple! I sprinkled the tops with vanilla sugar so they wouldn’t stick to the wax paper between the layers in the container. Obviously you can use regular sugar too. To make your own vanilla sugar, slit a vanilla pod lengthwise and stick it in a jar of sugar for a few weeks or longer.
Most of my coworkers have never had dates, or even heard of them, but they really liked these.