Savory goat cheese, apricot and pistachio appetizers

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These herbalicious and fruity chèvre nuggets are studded with toasted pistachios. What could be better?

MAKES 32

INGREDIENTS

12 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
2 tsp. finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp. finely chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 dried apricots, quartered
¾ cups finely chopped, toasted pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using your hands, roll mixture into 1″ balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press an apricot piece into center, and then mold cheese around apricot; roll in pistachios and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes before serving.

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Chevre & Caramelized Onions atop Puff Pastry Clouds

How can an appetizer get any easier? With my friends who host large crowds of hungry neighbors in mind, I happily borrowed this recipe and pic from Comfortably Domestic! Can you wait to get your hands on ’em? I can’t!

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Makes 36 puffs

2 very thinly sliced (small) Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

½ of a 17.3 oz. package of (frozen) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry

3.5 oz. herbed fresh goat cheese (chevre) crumbles

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove one sheet of the frozen puff pastry and set it on the counter to thaw; about 30 minutes.
  3. Place a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat, allowing pan time to warm.
  4. Add butter, onions, salt and pepper; stirring until butter melts.
  5. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, until onions are deep golden brown, and very tender; about 25 minutes total.
  6. Roll the thawed pastry out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness.
  7. Cut circles of pastry with a 1 ½-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter. (If you don’t own a 1 ½-inch cutter, then the rim of a shot glass will do.)
  8. Place the pastry rounds about 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  9. Dock each round with a fork by piercing the centers three times.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pastry has puffed and edges begin to turn a little golden brown.
  11. Remove the puffs from the oven and immediately depress the centers with a finger to form a small cup.
  12. Place a pinch of the goat cheese crumbles in the center of each puff (about ¾ tsp.)
  13. Top the cheese on each puff with a pinch of the caramelized onions.
  14. Serve immediately.

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Cucumber Appetizers

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This appetizer is so incredibly easy-peasy, it practically makes itself. Rather than cheese on crackers, I think it’s so smart to use cucumbers as a carrier! Thanks to rspcooks for the recipe and the photos — they are fantastic, and I want them RIGHT NOW!

Ingredients:
• 2 large cucumbers
• 2-3 slices of smoked salmon
• Green onions
• Goat cheese
• Sour cream

I used 3 tablespoons of goat cheese and a spoonful of sour cream. Mix well, add 2-3 slices of smoked salmon and 1-2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped.  I used 2 large cucumbers cut into pieces of 4-5 cm. Scoop with a spoon (about 2/3 in depth) and cut them so as to become cubic.

Fill the cucumbers with the mixture above and garnish with dried cherries, strips of smoked salmon and coarse chopped nuts or sunflower seeds slightly roasted.