Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls, with their festive holiday colors of red and green, are the perfect Christmas appetizer to serve to your family and friends or take to a holiday party.
12 Days of Easy Christmas Recipes:
On the ninth day of Christmas, instead of “nine-ladies-dancing,” I’m bringing you this oh so yummy recipe for Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls as part of my special 12 Days of Easy Christmas Recipes!
These little flavor-packed, bite-size jewels are full of creamy, tangy goat cheese sweetened with just a touch of honey and all of this deliciousness is covered with tart cranberries, buttery pecans, fresh herbs and, wait for it, smoky, salty BACON! I know!
These mini-cheese balls are quick, they are easy, and they are impressive! What more could you ask for?
Christmas Appetizer Ideas:
This year, why not kick off a holiday meal or Christmas Eve party with festive Easy Frozen Cranberry Margaritas, a plate of these delicious Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls, 3-Ingredient Cranberry Brie Bites, Cornmeal Cookies with Tomato Jam, and to keep the red and green theme going, Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets.
Looking for a fun appetizer, just for kids check out this recipe, Chocolate Christmas Mice, by my sister Chula at the Pudge Factor Blog.
How to make Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls
Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, honey, chili flakes, and salt to a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Cover and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.
Add the dried cranberries to a food processor, and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the herbs and pulse 6-7 times or until they are finely chopped. Add the bacon and pecans and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Do not over-process. Place this mixture in a plate or wide shallow bowl.
Remove the cheese mixture from the freezer and use a small ice-cream scoop to make mini bite-size cheese balls.
Roll the cheese balls in the cranberry-pecan topping and, if necessary, gently press it onto the sides to ensure it sticks.
Serve immediately, or cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- You can purchase roasted pecans at most grocery stores, or you can easily make your own. Simply place whole pecans on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool, then chop.
- To make ahead, prepare the goat cheese mixture and store covered in the refrigerator until the day you will be serving them; then make the topping and coat them.
- This recipe makes 24 mini cheese balls. If you don’t need that many, simply divide the recipe in half to make a dozen.
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