The perfect quick, easy & delicious Christmas appetizer to feed a crowd! Make in advance and serve with crackers and toasted bread.
4 sleeps til Christmas!! I'm picking you've all got the Christmas menu sorted - someone is doing the ham, someone has the pavlova under control and the trifle is ready to be assembled. But let's talk about the snacks! Because while all this prep is going on you're going to need something to keep you going, and what is better than a Christmas cheeseboard complete with a festive looking (and tasting) Christmas cheese log!
This Christmas cheese log is the ultimate way to do snack time. It's something that can be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge, and because all of the elements - cheese, dried fruit, nuts and herbs - are packed into the cheese log, all that needs to be done is to place it on a platter, surround it with crackers and toasted bread and dig in! But in saying that, it's also super easy to whip up on Christmas Eve if you don't get a chance before then!
Because it's an all in one type cheese board it's also a pretty cheap way to serve cheese and crackers - this cheese log goes a long way. It also saves the need for choosing cheeses, knives and other bits and pieces which are just other decisions you just don't need to be making at this time of year!
This Christmas cheese log is inspired by Chelsea Winter's version that I made last year, with just a few small changes. I used almost equal quantites of feta and cream cheese for maximum flavour, filled it with dried apricots and cranberries, chopped chives and parsley and it's coated in toasted pistachios and pecans. Plus it's got lemon juice and zest, dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar to balance out all that delicious creaminess.
It's creamy and crunchy, sweet and salty and so festive looking! It's the perfect Christmas Day snack!
- 250 g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 200 g feta
- 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup dried apricots (chopped finely)
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & chives)
- Ground black pepper to taste (be generous)
- ¾ cup pistachios/pecans to coat
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and place the nuts on a baking tray.
- Bake for 8 minutes (keep a close eye on them around this time as they can burn quickly) and remove from the oven. Chop the nuts coarsley (or use a food processor) and set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer (or a bowl and wooden spoon) combine the softened cream cheese and feta. Add all remaining ingredients except for the nuts and combine.
- Cut a large piece of baking paper and place on the bench. Tip the cheese mixture onto the baking paper and form it into a log shape. Roll it up in the baking paper, shaping as you go, tuck in the ends of the paper and place in the fridge for 3 hours (or longer) to set.
- Once the cheese log has set, remove from the fridge. Spread the chopped nuts on a rimmed baking tray, carefully unwrap the log and roll it in the chopped nuts until it is completely coated.
- Serve on a platter with crackers and toasted bread or wrap tightly in gladwrap and store in the fridge for up to a few days until needed.