Goat cheese is one of those ingredients that you can use for so many different appetisers. You can use it for stuffing tomatoes, dates, puff pastry, or mix it with different ingredients into dips to go with some crisps or crackers. For Christmas this year I made a brand new recipe for herbed/flavoured goat cheese balls and logs, which you can use both to spread on crackers or just eat like they are.
I went for three types of flavours: chives, pistachio & cranberries, sun dried tomato and fresh thyme. I used pretzel sticks instead of tooth picks, to save on rubbish, and I served the logs with different kinds of crackers. They are really easy to make, but the ones with sun dried tomato were a bit trickier as it won’t stick to the goat cheese as easily because of the oil around it. So if you’re struggling with it and want to make it easier I would recommend mixing the tomato in with the cheese instead of pasting it around it.
- 200g goat cheese - preferably a log (less liquid and thicker, which will help your goats cheese balls set)
- 125g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 75g pistachio nuts, without shells
- 50g cranberries
- handful fresh thyme
- 10g chives
- 70g sun dried tomato in oil
- 10 pretzel sticks
Mix goat cheese with cream cheese, either use a fork or a powerful food processor. Set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to firm up. If you decide to mix the sun dried tomato in with the goat cheese balls. You should scoop out a third of the goat cheese mix and mix it in with the tomatoes (chopped) and thyme before putting it in the fridge.
Meanwhile you can chop up the chives in small pieces and do the same for the thyme and sun dried tomato (if you're not mixing them in). For our last crust we're going to put our pistachio nuts in a food processor with the cranberries and blend them into small pieces. You might need to slice up the cranberries yourself if the pieces remain too big but it shouldn't be an issue for the pistachio nuts.
When the goat cheese mixture is firmed up it's time to roll them into balls and logs. The logs I made are about 3-4 cm long, the balls were bite sized. Once you have them rolled place them on a plate in the fridge again for another 30 minutes, again to firm them up.
All that's left to do now is to roll around the goat cheese balls and logs into each crust we made (chives, pistachio & cranberry and sun dried tomato with thyme.
Break the pretzel sticks in half, put them in just before serving as they'll go soft in the fridge. If you're not ready to serve them yet you can keep all the balls and logs in the fridge as well.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!