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Festive Heirloom Cheese Ball

Nov 16, 2012 11:47AM ● Published by Lisa Drake

Festive Heirloom Cheese Ball

by Carol Ritchie

Serves 8

1/2 cup chopped dried pears
2 tablespoons brandy (or orange juice)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup golden raisins (or chopped candied ginger)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (or green part of green onions)
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cups thin sliced almonds, toasted
Paprika for garnish
Finely diced red bell pepper and chopped parsley for garnish

Combine pears and brandy (or orange juice) in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. In a bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese for 1 to 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add goat cheese, chives, and honey, and mix for 1 to 2 minutes on low speed until combined, scraping sides occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup of the almonds. Form mixture into a ball. Sprinkle cheese ball with paprika and roll in remaining almonds.

Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving to allow flavors to blend. For presentation, place cheese ball on a decorative plate/platter and sprinkle with finely diced red bell pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with whole-grain crackers on the side.

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