Happy November, friends! November just might be my favorite month of the year. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that my birthday falls in November. (Okay, maybe a little bit) But also, the weather is perfect- can I say just one more time how much I adore fires and sweaters and fuzzy socks?! Plus, it’s time to start all the fun holiday things- decorating, Christmas shopping, prepping for Thanksgiving. And the beginning of November is the most perfect- I can start enjoying these things at my leisure and enjoy the anticipation before the actual craziness of the holidays are upon us. And speaking of the craziness- allow me to introduce you to a make ahead appetizer perfect for your fall and winter entertaining. You are going to want these Cranberry Goat Cheese Balls on your menu all season long. Just imagine- creamy goat cheese paired with the tart sweetness of cranberries. These are heaven. They are also so super easy (two ingredients, people), and you can make them a day or two ahead of time for all your party needs. Plus, they look super pretty and festive on a plate garnished with a few rosemary sprigs.
First things first, chop your dried cranberries super fine so they will stick easily to your goat cheese balls.
A teaspoon measuring spoon will ensure your cranberry goat cheese balls are all nice and uniform. I used a heaping scoop for each one. This is easier if you toss your goat cheese in the freezer for about ten minutes prior to starting this project.
Then, just roll the goat cheese balls around in the chopped cranberries and roll them quickly between your palms.
See, easy peasy and look how pretty. If you have leftovers (don’t count on it) these are great for salads or snacking.
You can serve them with toothpicks or have your guests spread them on crackers. I was introduced to these heavenly little bites when looking for an appetizer recipe for my cooking club. We chose the cookbook As the Spur Stirs: The Art of Bringing a Western Family, Friends and Food Together for our recipe inspiration a few months ago. The recipe called for a variety of herbs and spices to use with the goat cheese, but the chopped cranberry was my hands down favorite. The cookbook was chock full of amazing recipes and would make lovely Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen. You can order a copy here.
Make these a day or two ahead and keep in the fridge on a rimmed baking sheet covered tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to come back to room temperature prior to serving. Happy Cooking xo-Amanda
If you are looking for a couple other make ahead cocktail party recipes, be sure and check out our recipes for Spicy Roasted Cashews and Salmon Gravlox (my personal all time favorite). Also, our White Bean Hummus with Olive Tapenade is usually a big hit.