If you need a super-easy appetizer for a holiday gathering, you’ve come to the right place. This one starts with a goat cheese log and adds a layer of cranberry and nuts.
Is it just me, or does goat cheese just feel fancy? It somehow manages to be mild and tangy all at once. But the real magic happens when you coat that simple log with a combination of flavors. With sweetened dried cranberries you add both sweet and tart. Pecans give that meaty crunch that only nuts can provide. Rosemary provides a hint of herby essence to kind of balance it all out.
And, of course, honey. Sweet and sticky, so it does all the work in making your flavors stick to the goat cheese.
The result is totally yummy!
Why I love this recipe
I love to offer a simple appetizer before a holiday meal. And it’s even better when it includes colors and flavors specific to the holidays. The cranberries in this appetizer are perfect!
Chop those dried cranberries and nuts to coat the outside of a log of goat cheese and it looks like you are serving up something really special, yet it only took minutes to put together. Now THAT is what I call a great appetizer!
Some specifics regarding these ingredients –
Dried cranberries – use the sweetened kind (Craisins). If you can only find unsweetened, feel free to substitute. You might end up adding a little more honey for sweetness is all.
Rosemary – I’ve only tried this with fresh rosemary, but in theory dried will work. Use the leaves only, not the woody “stems”.
Pecans – you’re going to chop these anyway, so halves or pieces work equally well.
Honey – it is both a sweetener and the sticky “glue” needed for the coating to stick.
Goat cheese – buy this in a mini log form and it is ready to go!
How to make the cranberry goat cheese log
The only real prep for this recipe is a little chopping. Pecans, dried cranberries and fresh rosemary – chop each finely as they will stick to the log better that way. Somehow giant hunks of nut don’t really stick too well LOL.
I use a nut chopper for the pecans, a serrated knife for the cranberries, and a chef’s knife for the rosemary leaves. Which sounds like a lot but since the textures of those ingredients are so different, I find using a different tool works best for me. Your results may vary. 😀
Mix the chopped ingredients together in a bowl, then spread a little of it on a piece of wax paper to be ready for the goat cheese.
Then, coat the goat cheese log in some honey. This gets a little messy, but honestly your hands work the best. I like to just pour a little honey on the log and them spread it all round with your fingers. Be sure to get honey on the ends as well as around the log.
Place the coated log on the wax paper containing the cranberry mixture. Then, spoon more of the mixture over the coated log, to cover the surface with the cranberry and nut goodness.
On a serving plate, place a dollop of honey, then place the coated log on top of it. The honey will help to anchor the log in place.
You can garnish by surrounding the log with the extra cranberry-nut mixture, or by surrounding it with an assortment of crackers. Be sure to include a small knife for your guests to dig into the log.
And dig in they will!
More recipes that use dried cranberries
Even more cranberry recipes to love
Cranberry Goat Cheese Log
- 4 ounces goat cheese log
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries sweetened, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon rosemary leaves minced
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- Combine chopped nuts, rosemary leaves and chopped dried cranberries in a small bowl. Place a couple tablespoons of the mixture on a plate or a piece of wax paper, then set the rest aside in a bowl.
- Remove the goat cheese log from its package and pour a little honey on it. Then, use your fingers (or a small spoon) to spread the honey all around the log. Place the coated log on the mixture you just spread on the wax paper or plate.
- Sprinkle more of the cranberry mixture over the log, turning to get all surfaces. Press gently as needed to get the mixture to stick.
- Drizzle a little more honey on your serving plate and set the coated log onto it. The honey will help keep the log in place on the plate. You can garnish the plate with the remaining cranberry mixture, or simply surround the log with crackers or other dippables.
- Ready to serve immediately.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.