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Blue Diamond Almonds Cheddar Pinecone

almond-pinecone_14 I am often stumped when it comes to appetizers. I spend so much time working on my main dish, (okay, maybe I put a bit of effort into the dessert part too) that I overlook how important an appetizer can be. I learned a few things during my time waiting tables – people will wait for food if they have a drink in their hand and something delicious to nibble on. I keep that in mind now that I am entertaining in my own home. I do not make a lot of appetizers, but a cheese tray or a small appetizer can make all the difference in the mood of my guests when I am running behind in the kitchen.

I have been wanting to make an almond pinecone for ages, and Blue Diamond asked me if I would be interested in making one to share with you. I had to laugh because it was on my list of “things to make” this holiday season. This is the perfect appetizer for a holiday party. You can make the cream cheese part a day or two ahead of time, and add the almonds and rosemary before your guests arrive. I think that this would be a perfect job for little hands that need to be entertained while mommy is finishing getting ready. You could also make this into two small pine cones and save one for later.

I had my pinecone in the fridge and my children saw it when getting an afternoon snack. They told me that they really like the pineapple in the fridge. My husband came home and opened the fridge and told me that the pineapple looked great and wondered if it was fair game (that is food blogger family speak for food that has already been photographed and is available for eating). Whether you are using the symbol of hospitality or a festive holiday pine cone, this appetizer is always good party food.

almond cheddar pinecone recipe2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tablespoons port wine
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups Blue Diamond® Whole Natural Almonds, toasted
rosemary sprigs

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Add port and cayenne.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Beat until smooth. Add cheese.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Add green onion. Mix until combined.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Wrap cream cheese mixture in plastic wrap or parchment and chill for at least one hour. You could do this the day before even.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Once chilled, mold the cream cheese into a pinecone shape.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Place the cheese on a serving plate and start to add almonds. Start at the bottom and add in rows overlapping until the cheese is covered.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Add rosemary sprigs.

https://www.bluediamond.com/index.cfm?navid=37Serve with a nice glass of wine and crackers. Disclosure: I am being paid by Blue Diamond Almonds for this post. I am compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed are my own.

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Almond Cheddar Pinecone


Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 Tablespoons port wine
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 cups Blue Diamond® Whole Natural Almonds, toasted
  • rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add port and cayenne. Beat until smooth. Add cheese. Add green onion, mix until everything is combined.
  2. Wrap cream cheese mixture in plastic wrap or parchment and chill for at least one hour. You could do this the day before even.
  3. Once chilled, mold the cream cheese into a pinecone shape. Place the cheese on a serving plate and start to add almonds. Start at the bottom and add in rows overlapping until the cheese is covered.
  4. Add rosemary sprigs. Serve with a nice glass of wine and crackers.

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  1. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings

    December 19th, 2012 at 8:19 am

    that is adorable! shows off that great hospitality

  2. bakedbree

    December 19th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Isn’t it? I love this little pinecone!

  3. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    December 19th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Bah!! So cute and creative! I wonder if I can squeeze this into our already extensive holiday spread (answer: YES :)).

  4. bakedbree

    December 19th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    What else do you have on that menu? Curious minds would like to know!

  5. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen

    December 19th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Bree! SO DING DANG CUTE!

  6. bakedbree

    December 19th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    thank you! Tasted yummy too!

  7. Carla @ Carlas Confections

    December 19th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    So cute! I want this at the next holiday party I go to 🙂

  8. bakedbree

    December 19th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    It is so fun to make too! I loved molding and putting in the almonds.

  9. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    December 21st, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Such a cute presentation! I definitely want to make this for my next dinner party!

  10. bakedbree

    December 24th, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    It tastes really good too!

  11. Deanna

    January 11th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I’m a Blue Diamond almond grower and I’m always looking for new recipes. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. bakedbree

    January 14th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Really? I saw almonds on a tree for the first time ever a few weeks ago and they are so beautiful. You should try my pear and almond tart! It is divine!

  13. Patti

    December 31st, 2014 at 4:23 am

    I never heard of a “salted almond pine cone” until it was mentioned in a book I am reading by Elin Hilderbrand. I can’t wait to make one. Yours looks beautiful!

  14. bakedbree

    January 12th, 2015 at 11:25 am

    What book? I’ll have to read it.

  15. lisa

    February 27th, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    The book is Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand. I just read it and started searching for the recipe!

  16. Jill

    December 18th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Bree-
    Love everything about your blog/posts! Have made many of your recipes which are all great. Just curious……I’m going to make your pine cone cheese spread but never know when a recipe calls for shredded cheddar does it mean: mild…..medium…..sharp???? Usually you have the actual products pictured and I just copy the same ingredients. But not this time! Help!

  17. bakedbree

    December 21st, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I think it’s a preference, but I always buy sharp.

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