Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles are a mouthwatering combination of creamy cheese, topped with salty bacon, sweet cranberries and crunchy pine nuts. These 2-bite appetizers are easy to make ahead, and delicious as a snack or to add to your entertaining spread. Enjoy on their own, or to top a cracker
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The other day my mom called to ask me if I wanted her to bring some of the extra cheese she had leftover from an event. I told her that was a silly question…I will never refuse cheese! One of my favorite things to do in gourmet shops is browse the cheese section and try samples. You never know what fun things you’ll discover.
I always have Cabot Cheddar in the house, and use it for appetizers like my Loaded Mashed Potato Balls and my Cheddar Fig Honey Bites. I also try to always have a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano on hand. it’s wonderful for all kinds of dishes, like Poached Pears with Parmigiano Reggiano and Ricotta. Smoked Gouda is one of my newer finds, and it’s featured in my Baked Monte Cristo Sliders (featured in the December issue of Stillwater Living Magazine).
Goat cheese is another one of my favorites. I really don’t buy it very often, and I don’t know why. It’s creamy, has a really nice bite, and works well in a variety of dishes. I’m working on expanding my appetizer collection, and cheese is perfect for bite sized dishes. So I decided to join the cheese ball craze with Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles
Oh how I love these Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles! It’s such a wonderful mixture of textures, from smooth cheese to salty bacon, sweet fruit and crunchy pine nuts.
INGREDIENTS FOR BACON CRANBERRY GOAT CHEESE TRUFFLES
- Goat cheese (I use plain, but you could also use a mildly flavored goat cheese)
- Cream cheese (I use plain or low fat, not whipped)
- Thick-cut bacon
- Raw Pine Nuts
- Dried Cranberries
- Raw Honey
- Fresh parsley
I love that Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles are not only easy to prepare, they require just a few simple ingredients.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT BACON CRANBERRY GOAT CHEESE TRUFFLES
- Let the goat cheese and cream cheese come to room temperature before using, which only takes about 15 minutes. This makes it easier to mix, and easier to scoop into truffle balls
- I add raw honey to the cheese mixture, for another layer of flavor. It also helps to cream the cheese mixture.
- Use real bacon! Don’t skimp with bacon bits or imitation bacon. Now is not the time for that. I use thick-cut bacon because it’s my favorite, but any good quality bacon will do.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet, to release the oils and enhance the nutty flavor. But watch carefully…pine nuts do take a few minutes to go from raw to golden, but then go from golden to burnt in seconds. Pine nuts are expensive, so you don’t want to waste them!
- Mix the bacon, pine nuts, cranberries, and parsley together in a large plate, and roll the truffles in the mixture to coat
BEST SIZE FOR BACON CRANBERRY GOAT CHEESE TRUFFLES
I actually first considered doing one big cheese ball. However, then you have to use some kind of cracker or chip for the cheese. And, only the outer layer has the delicious mixture. Once you get past that, the inside is only cheese. Delicious cheese, but still just cheese.
When I made Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles for my friend’s party, I used a 1.75″ cookie scoop because that’s all I had at the time. It works great, but then it becomes a 3 bite truffle, and it’s a little big. I now use a 1.25″ Cookie Scoop, and it is a 1-2 bite truffle, the perfect size. You can put it on a small cracker, or eat it by itself.
My Bacon Cranberry Goat Cheese Truffles were a hit at my friend’s party a couple weeks ago, and were gone in less than 20 minutes! The great thing is you can make them a few hours or even a day ahead. And if you have any left over, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 3 ounces plain cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced into small pieces
- 2 ounces dried cranberries, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
In a large bowl, add goat cheese and cream cheese and let rest for about 15 minutes to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, add pine nuts to large, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat until golden brown, tossing occasionally. Watch carefully, as pine nuts go from golden to burnt in seconds. Remove pine nuts and set aside
Add bacon to same skillet, and cook until finished. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, and place bacon on paper towels to drain
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a 1.25" cookie scoop, make truffle balls with cheese. This amount of cheese will yield 30-32 truffles. Place truffles on baking sheet as you make them
Add bacon, cranberries, pine nuts and parsley to a food chopper/food processor. Pulse a few times, so all pieces are about the same very small size. This will help everything to stick to the truffles. Return truffles to baking sheet, and place in fridge until ready to serve
NOTE: These can easily be made a day ahead, and stored in fridge until ready to serve. If there are leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge.