Need an impressive appetizer to deliciously amaze your holiday party guests? Serve a platter of these cranberry pistachio goat cheese bites, inspired by Apron Strings, and we guarantee your family and friends will eagerly gobble them up.
You’ll be the holiday hostess with the mostest when your guests nibble through a few of these festively colored orbs of tangy goat cheese scrumptiously coated with a nutty crunch and fruity chew.
Goat cheese, you ask? Absolutely! Go beyond the safety zone of appetizers made solely with cream cheese and offer a tongue-tantalizing finger food made with a good-quality goat cheese. As you’re perusing goat cheese options, keep in mind that the younger, fresher goat cheese varieties will be milder, but no less distinct, in flavor. The longer a goat cheese ages, the more pronounced the tangy flavor and fragrance will be. Don’t worry, if you’re buying top-notch goat cheese, your goat cheese bites will not remind your guests of a barnyard.
In addition to being one of the tastiest appetizers on the table, these goat cheese bites are one of the easiest party nibbles you can put on a serving platter. You simply form softened cheese into balls and roll the balls in minced pistachios and chopped dried cranberries. Stick a bamboo pick in each of the cheese bites and get the party started.
Wine recommendation: Goat cheese and sauvignon blanc are lusciously made for each other. The acidity and bright, citrusy flavor of this white wine pairs impeccably with the creaminess and tart flavor of the goat cheese. For variety, try a Riesling. Riesling rarely meets a cheese it doesn’t like. If red wine is your thing, opt for a Syrah with big berry flavors, which will also go well with the dried cranberries.
Pistachios and cranberries add nutty crunch and sweet chew to every goat cheese bite. Spread the minced pistachios and diced cranberries together on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Combine cheeses and pepper sauce
Hot pepper sauce is a tongue-tingling surprise in this appetizer. In a mixing bowl, mash and stir the goat cheese, cream cheese and hot pepper sauce until well-blended. Refrigerate to firm up the cheeses for easier shaping.
Shape goat cheese mixture into balls
Use a tablespoon to scoop up rounded portions of the goat mixture. Roll the goat cheese into balls. If you have one, a tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop makes this step especially easy.
Coat the cheese balls with the pistachio cranberry mixture
Roll each cheese ball in the pistachio cranberry mixture until evenly coated.
Serve with toothpicks or skewers
Makes for a beautiful party platter
Tangy goat cheese, tart cranberries and crunchy pistachios