Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pecan Coated Goat Cheese Bites

If your in need of a quick, seasonal appetizer for a cocktail party, these pecan coated goat cheese bites are for you. And, they couldn't be tastier!
pumpkin goat cheese pecans
One of the funnest things about fall is getting to add seasonal ingredients in the food that you are serving. Seriously, there's nothing that excites me more. 
My husband totally chuckles every year when fall comes and my "fall flavors". 

pumpkin goat cheese appetizer pecan coated goat cheese recipe
So when we were planning a little neighborhood happy hour on Friday, I was more than willing to provide a seasonal appy for everyone. And let's just face it, we all knew this would include something pumpkin. 
I started with some goat cheese, manchego cheese, and pumpkin puree...gave it a quick whiz in the food processor, seasoned it, chilled it, then rolled it into balls. 
Since I also adore sweet and spicy nuts, I just so happened to have some on hand, so decided to chop some up to use as a coating for these cheese bites.
goat cheese appetizer pumpkin goat cheese balls
These cheese bites are smooth and creamy with a touch of sharpness from the manchego and a slightly crispy exterior. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but blends so well with the other flavors. This truly is a flavor packed bite.
I served mine with crackers, but they are also delightful all on their own (just ask my toddler who was popping them like tic tacs!).

Pecan Coated Goat Cheese Bites
makes 16 bites

8 oz goat cheese
2 cups grated manchego cheese
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups Maple Spiced Pecans (recipe below)

Pulse goat cheese, manchego, pumpkin, paprika, and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until well combined.
Scoop mixture into a medium bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes (can make ahead and chill overnight) in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, place nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into a shallow bowl.
Form into 16 balls using a 1 tablespoon sized scoop. Drop balls into chopped pecans and roll to evenly coat.
Refrigerate balls before serving.
Serve with crackers or sliced baguette or on their own.

Maple Spiced Pecans
3 cups pecans
1 egg white
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white by hand until very frothy. Add pecans and toss until evenly coated. Add syrup, sugar, spices, and salt. Toss again to evenly coat.
Spread pecans onto prepared pan in an even layer and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, then bake for 15 minutes more or until well toasted.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before breaking them into large clusters.
Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.


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