Mini Cheese Balls with Cranberries and Pistachios are honey goat cheese and cream cheese balls rolled in chopped cranberries and pistachios. They’re simple, elegant, and are the ultimate party food!
I told you last week when I posted my Sweet Potato Polenta Crostini that I love my appetizers, and guess what tops the charts for me? Cheesy ones! One of my favorite appetizers is a cheese plate with a nice variety of hard and soft cheeses with toasty bread, crackers, a nice fig jam, spiced nuts, or something to that effect. Heaven!
I’m new to the cheese ball game, and come to find out, it’s the best game in town! And speaking of game, they’d be great for Game Day. 🙂 Not only are cheese balls very easy, but they’re huge crowd pleasers. What’s not to love?
Since I was new to this whole cheese ball thing, I did a bit of cheese ball scouring on Pinterest. I looked at photos only, and when I spied some mini cheese ball bites from Samantha at Five Heart Home, I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. You know how I love my mini desserts and bite sized morsels around here, don’t you? Well, mini cheese balls are just too dang cute. And pop-able!
Are you a goat cheese lover or hater? I do like it, but it is strong, so I’d say that I enjoy it when it’s not too overpowering. I spied a small log of honey goat cheese at the store. Honey goat cheese! It sounded too good to pass up.
I originally thought I would roll the whole thing in cranberries and pistachios, then the mini cheese ball thing took over. I thought since goat cheese is so strong, I should mix it with cream cheese to tame it down a bit. The honey flavor in the cheese was delicious, and I added some cayenne pepper for a little kick, beat the cheeses together and chilled it for a bit.
I figured I would need to chill the cheese for a long time to make it roll-able, but after 15 minutes I got a little impatient and tried anyway. The cheese wasn’t very cold, yet I was able to roll it really easily. I rolled the cheese balls in my chopped cranberries and pistachios, and chilled them. I was SO excited to try these out. 🙂
I thought that the perfect way to serve them was slightly smashed down on some nice round crackers with a little drizzle of honey. Oh yeah. They were delicious!
Putting this appetizer together took all of 30 minutes with a bit of chilling time in there. No oven, no nothing. Just a mixing bowl and beaters and a bit of rolling that the kids can even help you with. You’re only minutes away from a fun, delicious, and sophisticated appetizer that everyone will love. And if goat cheese isn’t your thing, pick another! You get to customize this to suit your taste buds. When it comes to cheese balls, there’s just no way you can wrong. 🙂
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used ⅓ less fat Neufchatel)
- 5.4 ounce log of honey goat cheese*
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper*
- ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped fine
- ½ cup roasted salted shelled pistachios, chopped fine
- crackers and honey, for serving
- Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the goat cheese and cayenne pepper, and beat until combined. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
- Place a sheet of waxed paper over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the cranberries and pistachios in a small bowl and toss to combine. Roll the cheese into teaspoon-sized balls and place on the waxed paper. Roll the balls in the cranberry pistachio mixture and place back on the waxed paper. Cover and chill until time to serve.
- Serve with crackers and a drizzle of honey, and enjoy!
*If you can't find honey goat cheese, simply use plain goat cheese and add some honey when beating the cream cheese and goat cheese together, or just drizzle more on when serving.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.
Inspired by Five Heart Home's Mini Cheese Ball Bites.