Medjool dates are stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon, and crisped with a Maple-Sriracha glaze. Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback are a perfect party snack!
Until a few months ago, I had never heard of Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped stuffed dates). I have no idea how they evaded my radar for so long, because all it took was one sinful bite of this British pub dish at a local restaurant this past fall to be hooked! In the recipe I’m sharing today, plump Medjool dates are stuffed with piquant blue cheese, wrapped in smoky bacon, and baked until crisp. For a fun twist, I glaze the bacon with maple syrup and Sriracha, giving each bite a little extra caramelization and a light kick at the finish. Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback are the perfect sweet-savory snack for game watching this weekend!
From what I’ve been reading, Devils on Horseback have been around for years in various incarnations, though it appears they had a renaissance back in the 70’s. Some recipes use Armagnac-soaked prunes instead of dates, while others stuff with almonds or chutney instead of cheese or forego the stuffing altogether. The restaurant I mentioned earlier, the historic Rocky Hill Inn, added poached pears to the blue cheese stuffing, complementing the bacon and blue cheese beautifully. (If you live in the area, the Inn is a great place to meet a friend for warm hospitality, a cold drink, and a plate of Devils. Add a side of their excellent fried pickles while you’re at it, and don’t miss the lunch and dinner menus; they’re delicious!) Variations aside, the basic premise of the appetizer is the same: date or prune, stuffed, and wrapped in crispy bacon. Salty, sweet, crispy, creamy. How could you go wrong?
As we’ve established before on this blog, I’m a total lightweight when it comes to spicy foods. I knew I wanted to add a little heat to my Game Day Devils and first thought of using chipotle in the glaze before deciding on Sriracha for its hint of tang. I ended up making two batches with different ratios of maple syrup to hot sauce. My taste tester loved both versions, though, as a big fan of spicy food, he tended to gravitate toward the Sriracha-heavy batch. To appeal to a range of party guests, I’ve stayed on the conservative side with 2 teaspoons Sriracha in the recipe to give each bite a subtle warmth rather than an assertive heat. Feel free to dial up the hot sauce to your tastes!
Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback are so easy to prepare: just pit the dates, stuff, wrap, glaze, and bake. You can prep them a few hours ahead of glazing/baking and store them in the refrigerator, making them great for entertaining. These two-bite snacks are just begging to be enjoyed with a cold beverage in front of the TV with friends this weekend. Don’t expect them to last for the entire game, though; these little Devils tend to disappear as quickly as they’re made!
More of my favorite recipes for Game Day entertaining:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip
Grilled Meatball Subs
Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle-Lime Aioli
Jam Crumble Bars
Strawberry Basil Soda
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Beer Raised Waffles with Cheddar and Scallions (great with chili!)
Ham and Swiss Slab Pie
Maple Sriracha Devils on Horseback
The heat level on the Maple-Sriracha glaze is totally customizable! We find that two teaspoons gives each bite a subtle warmth, without overpowering. Feel free to increase or decrease the quantity of Sriracha to your personal tastes (remember that it will taste spicier in the mixing bowl than it will on the crisped bacon).
- 18 Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 9 slices bacon (I use Applewood Smoked)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce, or additional, to taste
Soak 18 plain wooden toothpicks in water for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven-safe wire rack onto the pan.
Using a paring knife, cut a lengthwise slit into each date to open (don't slice in half entirely). Remove and discard pits. Fill each date with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crumbled blue cheese (depending on date size), pressing to stuff. Close dates and press edges together to seal.
Cut each slice of bacon in half. Wrap dates in bacon, overlapping edges and securing with a soaked toothpick. Transfer to the wire rack.
Stir together maple syrup and Sriracha and lightly brush each wrapped date with glaze. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with a second coating of glaze. Continue baking for 5-10 minutes, until bacon is crisp (depending on the thickness of your bacon). Serve hot or warm.