Festive Cheese Balls

8 servings
30 min prep time
1 hr total time

Roll up some delicious goat cheese into these festive cheese balls that are easy to assemble and perfectly portable. 




1/3 cup dried hot peppers, ancho chilies are the best


1/4 cup chopped fresh lavender

1/8 cup coarse ground peppercorn


1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/3 cup candied or spiced pecans or walnuts

Cheese Shot Glasses

1 (8-ounce) jar fresh pesto

1 (15-ounce) can high-quality roasted red pepper soup, chilled

4 ounces Vermont Creamery Classic Goat Cheese

3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Bacon-Wrapped Bijou

5 Vermont Creamery Bijou

10 slices high-quality bacon

Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Canapés

8 ounces Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche whipped until medium peaks form

1 tablespoon fresh or pickled horseradish, chopped fine

1 tablespoon chives, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

12 (1x1-inch) slices Danish pumpernickel bread

6 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon dill, chopped


  • STEP 1

    Chèvre Balls:
    Cut each log of fresh goat cheese into 12 pieces and roll into a small ball (most easily done when chèvre is at room temperature). Roll ball in topping and place on a plate and serve. These can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Bring up to room temperature before serving.

  • STEP 2

    Cheese Shot Glasses:
    Use eight 2 1/2 to 3 ounce shot glasses. For each glass, pour 2 tablespoons of pesto, then 2 tablespoons of soup, then crumble some chèvre on top, and add 1 tablespoon of pine nuts.

  • STEP 3

    Bacon-Wrapped Bijou:
    Wrap each Bijou with 2 slices of bacon, crosswise. Bake in oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, until bacon is cooked. Blot baked-oil bacon fat with paper towel, let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

  • STEP 4

    Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Canapés:
    Mix crème fraîche, horseradish, chives, and lemon peel in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper. Spread 1 teaspoon of the mixture over each bread slice. Divide smoked salmon among bread slices. Sprinkle each canapé with dill.