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CRANBERRY CROSTINI WITH WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE WITH THYME


Baking sheet full of prepared cranberry and goats cheese crostini. There are bowls of whipped goat cheese with thyme and fresh cranberry sauce peaking into the side of the image.

If you’ve been looking for a fun appetizer to bring to your Thanksgiving festivities, or a way to use up that homemade cranberry sauce after the holiday, this cranberry crostini is for you! This easy appetizer recipe feels fancy, tastes delicious, and is secretly easy to make… a winner in my book!


WHAT IS CROSTINI?


Simply put, crostini is another name for toast. It is often served as an antipasto, or starter dish, with a variety of toppings.


Crostini is similar, but different from bruschetta, due to the type of bread used and how it is prepared. Crostini is made from even slices of smaller, finer-textured bread like a white bread baguette. Crostini is toasted until just crispy. Bruschetta on the other hand is made from larger, thick slices of bread, such as sourdough or an Italian loaf. The bread base for bruschetta is generally grilled.


TELL ME ABOUT THIS CRANBERRY GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI RECIPE


Level of difficulty: Easy.

Flavor: Each layer of this homemade crostini brings a new pop of flavor! Crunchy toasted french bread is accented by creamy thyme goat cheese with bright pops of sweet and tart cranberry sauce.

Time: It will take you approximately 30 minutes to prepare your cranberry and goat cheese crostini. This includes prep time, toasting your baguette slices, making your whipped goat cheese, and assembling your crostini toppings.


Ingredients needed to make this easy appetizer. Includes a French baguette and olive oil to make crostini. Also includes homemade cranberry sauce, goat cheese, whipped cream cheese, salt, and fresh thyme to make the topping for crostini.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED


French Baguette

Olive Oil

Goat Cheese

Whipped Cream Cheese

Fresh Thyme

Salt

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Process shot showing a cutting board filled with slices of baguette, a measuring cup with olive oil, and a pastry brush that is being used to brush olive oil onto the bread. A few slices have been completed and are on sitting on a baking sheet.

OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE THIS CRANBERRY CROSTINI WITH GOAT CHEESE


  1. Make the crostini toasts. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Slice your baguette into even slices no bigger than ½” thick and brush each side with olive oil. Place brushed slices onto a baking sheet and bake for 6-9 minutes until toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before adding the toppings (at least 5 minutes).

  2. Note: there is no need to flip the crostini during the cooking process

  3. Note: crostini won’t really get browned (they appear to be a little golden), so giving your toasts a little tap with your finger or a fork will help you determine if they are toasted or not. Perfectly toasted crostini sound a little hollow.

  4. Make the whipped goat cheese with thyme. While your crostini is toasting, place the goat cheese, cream cheese, salt, and thyme leaves into a food processor (or high power blender) and process until combined. Scrape down the sides of your food processor with a rubber scraper part way through to ensure all ingredients are getting incorporated.

  5. Assemble your cranberry goat cheese crostini. Spread an even layer of the whipped goat cheese mixture onto each cooled crostini toast. Top each crostini with a spoonful of homemade cranberry sauce and gently spread it across the goat cheese layer. Add a little sprig of fresh thyme, or additional thyme leaves, for garnish if desired.

  6. Serve and enjoy! Place assembled crostini on a serving platter, eat, and enjoy!


Top down view of a baking sheet full of toasted crostini, ready to be topped. Bowls of whipped goat cheese and fresh cranberries sauce, and sprigs of thyme surround the baking sheet.

EXPERT TIPS


Use a serrated knife to cut your baguette. A serrated knife is the ideal tool to cut foods that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside - like a nice, crusty loaf of bread!


Has your baguette gone slightly stale? You can still use it! Making crostini is a great way to use that slightly stale loaf of bread. Note: do not use the bread if there are signs of mold.


Curious on how to make cranberry sauce or need a homemade cranberry sauce recipe? This is my family’s go-to cranberry sauce recipe! - RECIPE IS FORTHCOMING


Save time by making your whipped goat cheese mixture ahead of your gathering! You can make the whipped goat cheese mixture the day ahead of serving. If you choose to do this, store in an air-tight container in the fridge until ready to assemble your toasts.


The whipped goat cheese is easier to spread if it’s not totally cold. I’ve found that the whipped goat cheese mixture is easier to spread straight out of the food processor as it warms up the ingredients a little bit. If you’ve made your goat cheese mixture ahead of time, let it sit out on your counter for 5-10 minutes prior to spreading it on your toasts.


Don’t love goat cheese? Try using slices of brie instead! If goat cheese is not your thing, you can still make a fun holiday crostini by replacing the goat cheese mixture with brie cheese. Assemble the cranberry brie crostini, adding leaves of thyme on top, and enjoy!


There are other ways to enjoy crostini toasts too. Loving homemade crostinis? These little toasted breads are great topped with cheese (sliced or spreadable), as a part of a charcuterie board, and for dipping into hummus and other spreads too!


Close up of an assembled cranberry crostini appetizer topped with a sprig of fresh thyme.

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