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Sunday recipe: bacon-wrapped figs are an ideal holiday appetizer

Holiday entertaining revs up in autumn and continues into the new year. The prepared host or hostess understands the importance of having plenty of crowd-ready recipes on hand. Delicious, easy-to-prepare appetizers certainly should be in home cooks’ bag of holiday hosting tricks.

Few can resist the salty allure of bacon, which adds appeal to an appetizer tailor-made for any event. This recipe for “Bacon-Wrapped Figs,” courtesy of the Kansas Pork Association, is sweet and savory.

Bacon-wrapped figs. Licensed through Metro Graphic Services

Bacon-Wrapped Figs

Serves 12

6 strips bacon, halved crosswise
12 figs, stemmed
12 pecan pieces, toasted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne

Dip
¼ cup soft goat cheese (2 ounces)
¼ cup cream cheese (2 ounces)
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves finely chopped, or 3⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme

  1. Preheat oven to 425 °F.
  2. Place four layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Top with bacon slices. Cover with two or more layers of paper towels. Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes to render fat from bacon but not crisp.
  3. While bacon cools, slice each fig twice, starting at stem end, and cutting three-quarters of the way to bottom. Stuff each fig with a pecan piece. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each fig and secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10 minutes. Turn. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the bacon is sizzling and begins to crisp.
  5. In a small bowl, combine syrup and cayenne pepper. Brush mixture over appetizers.

For dip: Combine all dip ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes about ½ cup. Serve appetizers warm with dip.

The recipe and photo above were licensed through Metro Creative Graphics.