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Miniature Blue Cheese Balls with Winter Fruit recipe

Blue Cheese Balls with Winter Fruit.

The nutty, blue cheese mixture makes aterrific filling for stewed dried apricots, plums (prunes) andMajool dates. Make a party plate with assorted winter fruitsfor variety.

Recipe: Miniature Blue CheeseBalls with Winter Fruit

30 dried apricots
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 ounces cream cheese cut in chunks and room temperature
3 ounces (3/4 cup) Wisconsin blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon French brandy*
1/2 tablespoon grated yellow onion

  • Place the apricots in a sauce pan. Addwater barely to cover. Stir in vanilla. Bring the apricots toa boil, uncovered, and simmer until tender, 1-4 minutes, dependingon the dryness of the apricots. Test with a fork. The apricotsshould be tender but not limp. Drain and dry well. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Toastthe pecans for 4 to 5 minutes, until aromatic. Stir after 2 minutesand watch so the nuts do not scorch. Remove and pour pecans onwaxed paper to cool. Whirl the pecans in a blender or food processoruntil very fine. Set aside.
  • Place the cream cheese, blue cheese andbrandy in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredientsare well blended. Add the onion and pulse briefly to incorporate.(You may also blend the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer.)Remove mixture to a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Remove cheese mixture from refrigerator.Form miniature balls and dip tops in pecans. Place on an apricot,nut side up. Repeat until all mixture is used. The mixture issoft – if too soft, spoon onto apricots, rounding the topand sprinkle with nuts.

    Makes about 30 miniature balls.

    *If a nonalcoholic mixture is preferred,substitute sherry extract. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add totaste.

    Recipe and photograph provided courtesyof Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.

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