Today we’re getting festive and fancy with a cheese board - just in time for you to put on your holiday party menu! Thanks to the J.M. Smucker Company and the Kellogg Company for sponsoring this post. I used Smucker’s Fruit and Honey Strawberry Fruit Spread, Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix, and a lovely Mirassou Pinot Noir to create this cheese board that’s perfect for any holiday occasion!
We’ve finally made it to the most wonderful time of the year, friends….who’s excited??? While visions of sugar plums may be dancing around in the heads of little ones, I’ve got visions of fancy and festive holiday food and parties dancing around my head. The calendar is full y’all. From cookie exchanges to brunches to holiday potlucks, there are so many opportunities to get in the kitchen and whip up a festive treat.
Being the foodie fanatic that I am, I love it when I find a one-stop shop that I can rely on for one-of-a-kind gourmet goodies that will add wow factor to my holiday recipes. For me, Target fits the bill! I’m always finding new and unique food items here - in addition to all that I need for gifts, home decor, and festive outfits. Seriously, how many of us go into Target with a list and come out with goodies we didn’t know we needed??? #targetdoesitagain.
Some recent foodie discoveries at my local Target served as the inspiration for this cheese board - with a wine pairing to boot! Being from the South, I’ve always been a huge fan of pimento cheese. This love affair can likely be attributed to my mom, who always had a batch ready for sandwiches/wraps as I was growing up. I thought it’d be fun to do a pimento cheese-inspired board for holiday parties as a nod to my Southern roots!
This board features a molten-centered baked pimento cheese that has smoky notes of flavor and a kick of spice. This may sound strange, but I love to serve this with strawberry fruit spread! It’s the perfect combo of savory + sweet; and I love the notes of honey that come from the Fruit and Honey Strawberry Fruit Spread. Carr’s Table Water Crackers are the perfect vehicle for this explosion of flavor and are an elegant addition to any party cheese or charcuterie board.
I used the Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix as the flavor inspiration for this holiday cheese ball. Here we’ve got gruyere + white cheddar + a splash of balsamic mixed together and coated in a toasty, crunchy, nutty coating of pecans and cranberries. I created this crispy pimento cheese crackers to dip in the cheese ball - the sharp cheddar and rosemary sea salt flakes add a robust savory element and create the perfect bite when spread with the cheese ball.
Everything on the board pairs perfectly with this pinot noir from Mirassou Wines. It has notes of flavor from strawberries, cherries, and red currants that I think taste amazing with this combination of cheddar + gruyere + cream cheeses. Apple and/or pear slices will round out the board and beautiful red and green color. Cheers, friends!
Pimento Cheese Board
For the pimento cheese crackers:
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 ounces ½ stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ? teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
For the molten pimento cheese dip:
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounce jar of diced pimentos drained thoroughly
- ½ cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
For the cheese ball:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup Gruyere cheese shredded
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup dried cherries chopped
- 1 bag Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans Glazed Mix - 20% off coupon finely chopped
- Smucker’s Fruit and Honey Strawberry Fruit Spread - 20% off coupon!
- Carr’s Table Water Crackers - 5% off coupon!
- Apple and Pear slices
- Fresh rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries
- Mirassou Pinot Noir
For the pimento cheese crackers:
- Place the cheese, butter, paprika, salt, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the flour in 3 additions, mixing on low speed, until a soft dough forms (it will look like sugar cookie dough).
- Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a long log that is 11’’ in length and 1 ½’’ wide. Refrigerate the log for 4 hours until firm.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough log from the fridge and slice into ?’’ thick rounds. You should have 30-40 crackers. Place them on the baking sheet ½ apart. Bake for a total of 18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking until they are light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
For the pimento cheese:
- Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Lightly grease a baking dish or cast iron skillet with butter. Place the pimento cheese in the dish, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the cheese for 20-30 minutes until brown and bubbly. Place on your cheese board and serve while hot.
For the cheese ball:
- Place the cheeses, balsamic vinegar, and chopped cherries in a medium sized bowl. Use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer to mix on medium until all the ingredients are combined. Shape the mixture into a ball and roll the ball in the chopped nut mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days before serving.
- Arrange the pimento cheese dip, cheese ball, pimento cheese crackers, Carr’s crackers, and a small dish of strawberry jam on a serving board or platter. Garnish with apple and pear slices, rosemary sprigs, and fresh cranberries. Serve with Mirassou Pinot Noir (I suggest chilling it for 30 minutes before serving).