Recipe By Lynfred Brand Ambassador Laura Lorenz
Makes about 18 truffles*
8 oz cream cheese (full fat), softened
1c smoked gouda cheese, shredded*
½ c mild or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp chives, minced
½ tsp paprika
½ lb. bacon, cooked until crispy then finely chopped*
¾ c pecans, finely chopped
¼ c fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
½ c dried unsweetened cranberries, finely chopped
Crackers for serving
Mix the cream cheese, both shredded cheeses, chives, bacon, and paprika until completely blended (I used a fork, your hands are always the best kitchen tool though). Once mixed, take a small scoop (I used a cookie scoop) and scoop the cheese mixture into your hands and then roll into a ball and set aside. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can make freeform truffles, the size you are going for is roughly 1 tbsp. Once all the cheese mixture is rolled into balls, refrigerate the balls for 45 minutes to 1 hour to set up.
For your coating (parsley, cranberries, and pecans) make sure all the ingredients are finely chopped; this makes it much easier to coat the truffles. Once your truffles are set up, you are ready to roll in the coating. I find it easiest to mix the cranberries, pecans, and parsley on a plate and roll the truffles on the plate. Before you roll each truffle in the coating, warm up the outside of the cheese ball by rolling it in your hands a few times; this makes the coating stick to the outside better. Make sure when rolling in the coating you gently press those delicious nuts, herbs, and dried fruit into the truffles, so it really sticks. After the truffles are fully coated, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. I really like to make these the day before to let all the flavors meld together. Serve with crackers of choice.
*18 truffles are an estimate, depending on the size you roll them in, you may get between 16-20 truffles.
*Use a high-quality block cheese for both cheeses, no pre-shredded. The cheese is one of the stars of the show, so you want it to be good, and pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent which is not what you want in a cheese truffle. When I shredded my cheese, I used the next size down “holes” from the biggest size on my box grater. This is just a finer shred, totally personal preference; I just really think it melds easier with the cream cheese.
*Make sure your bacon is cooked until crispy; you do not want soggy bacon inside the truffle.
Also, make sure the cooked bacon is dabbed with a paper towel, so no grease is left. The grease can
make the cheese separate. If you want a little extra bacon kick, add ¼ cup of finely chopped bacon to your coating.
*These are the perfect holiday appetizer because they can be made in advance and travel well if brought to a party.