As much as we love awards shows - and dinner parties - we do not feel as though an Oscars gathering must have cutesy, movie-theme food. Don't even get us started on the possibilities with Ratatouille. But if one of our favorite, standby cocktail party appetizers just happens to lend itself to a little movie-that-could about teenage pregnancy? Well, so be it.
We first ate a version of these dates at a tapas restaurant in New York, and we quickly re-created them at home. They're easy and need very few ingredients, and we've never had a single one left at parties. As for the "pregnant" part, each date is stuffed with a baby, er, almond, before being wrapped in bacon and baked. Like the character Juno, they are salty at first, revealing an inner sweetness.
Just so you know, we considered making a cocktail reminiscent of Juno's favorite Slurpee but drew the line at electric blue drinks. Try the more refined yet still Creamsicle-esque Golden Dream Cocktail instead.
Juno's Pregnant Dates
Serves 6 as appetizers
24 dried, pitted dates
24 Marcona almonds*, toasted
12 slices thick-cut bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Stuff an almond into each date. Cut each slice of bacon in half, crosswise.
Wrap each date in half a slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. You should stick the toothpick through the date closer to one end, so as not to run into the almond in the middle.
Place dates on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning them over after halfway through, until the bacon is fully cooked. Baking time may be slightly longer or shorter, depending on thickness of the bacon. Serve immediately.
* We like the crunchy texture of these Spanish almonds, but regular toasted almonds work just fine.
This is by Elizabeth, who is up for one of our new writer positions. Welcome Elizabeth!
(All images by Elizabeth Passarella for The Kitchn.)