Twelve Dates to Christmas

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Twelve Dates to Christmas? You’d better get organized because this She Loves Me inspired appetizer is not to be missed!
Twelve Dates to Christmas - a festive appetizer inspired by She Loves Me

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She Loves Me is a musical set in Budapest shop in the 1930s. Shop employees Georg and Amalia are unaware that each is the other’s secret pen pal that they secured via lonely-hearts ads. In the build-up to Christmas, the shop gets busier, and Twelve Days to Christmas is sung by the shop staff and the shoppers.

Twelve days to Christmas,
Twelve days to Christmas,
Look at the way they do their Christmas shopping
They can go shopping and still remain calm and sedate
These are the people we envy and the people that we hate!

When I first had the idea for stuffing dates for our spin on this fun musical number, I started to look online for some inspiration. I wanted to use a cream cheese filling but all the recipes involved piping the cream cheese into the dates. Piping cream cheese? Life’s too short for that. I know better, I thought.

So after I spent a ridiculously long amount of time trying to spoon cream cheese into just twelve dates, I figured that those recipe writers *might* have had a point. As I wiped cream cheese off two spoons, a chopping board, my fingers, and from all around each date, I vowed I would pipe the cream cheese into dates next time. Either that, or delegate the job to someone else.

Because they do taste REALLY good! Cream cheese piping aside, they are easy to make too. You’ll need some whole pitted dates (just the twelve, please), and then cut them open length ways.

Daintily pipe the cream cheese into each date Spoon globfuls (technical term) of cream cheese into each date as neatly as is humanly possible. Spoon a little juice from some cranberry sauce (store-bought or homemade – mine is homemade, OBVIOUSLY). You really don’t need much. Place a few shelled pistachios in a bag and give them a bash with a meat tenderizer. Sprinkle few little pieces of nut over the top for a pleasing red, white, and green look.

Twelve Dates to Christmas - a festive appetizer inspired by She Loves Me

The combination of flavors and textures work really well! If you want something with a little more “bite”, you could consider adding more crushed pistachios to the cream cheese – but not if you’re thinking of piping it…

Twelve Dates to Christmas

Twelve Dates to Christmas


  • 12 whole pitted dates
  • cream cheese
  • cranberry sauce
  • shelled pistachios, bashed


  1. Cut the dates open length ways.
  2. Spoon (or pipe!) the cream cheese into each date.
  3. Add a little juice from the cranberry sauce to each date, and finish with a few small chunks of pistachio.
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