Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers for a Happy New Year

How did this happen? 2013 is next week?! December just flew by for me this year. Do you feel that way too? Well, I couldn't leave you without a glitzy (yet simple, of course) hors d'oeuvres recipe to ring in the new year. My "fabulous" New Year's Eve plans include sitting on the couch in front of a fire drinking a glass of champers until the ball drops in NYC. We aren't able to celebrate with our friends for their party this year, but plan on joining them on New Year's Day. So please, make this recipe and give me a virtual cheers on NYE. 

 This recipe is perfect for special celebrations. Sanding sugar coats the blackberries which sit atop fresh blackberry sauce. If you're in a hurry, you can certainly use store bought blackberry jam. My mom often makes a goat cheese log with blueberry sauce on top and serves it with crackers, and it's so delicious at parties. This recipe has similar tangy/sweet flavors. 

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers
printer friendly recipe 

makes about 15

1/2 cup silver or gold sanding sugar (I used a combination of sanding sugar and shimmer dust)
2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons agave syrup
5 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
1 package favorite crackers (I used gluten free rice crackers from Trader Joe's)
1 small bunch fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Place sanding sugar in a small bowl. Add 15 blackberries (or however many crackers you are making) to the bowl, using a spoon to turn to coat. If sugar is not sticking, toss a few drops of water onto the blackberries and try again.

In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining blackberries, lemon juice, and agave over medium heat until berries have broken down. Use a wooden spoon to break up berries and help them along. Once the berries have turned into a jam-like mixture, after cooking about 10 minutes, remove from heat. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl if you do not want the seeds.

Spread a teaspoon of goat cheese onto each cracker. Top with a small dollop of blackberry sauce. Top with a single sparkling blackberry and garnish with mint.

*time saver: berries can be sugared 2 hours in advance. Do not assemble the whole thing until 20 minutes of less before serving if using rice crackers, as they tend to absorb moisture and become soft.

How To Make Glitter Star Picks
1 sheet glitter scrapbook paper (available at Michael's)
1 (1.5 to 2 inch) star shaped punch (available at Michael's)
tape or hot glue (see procedure)

Punch stars out of the paper and tape to the top of toothpicks. If you would both sides to look nice, hot glue two stars back to back with with the top the toothpick in between.


  1. These are the cutest, Marina! In love with the glitter star picks... because glitter is an absolute must on NYE. Wishing you a relaxing and happy New Year! :)

  2. These are so pretty Marina!A platter of these would have everyone oohing and aahing!!

  3. What pretty little bites. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

  4. OK These might be the cutest things ever, something delicious AND sparkly? I am sold! I will definitely be making happy to find your blog!

  5. These are just beautiful!! Happy New Year Marina!

  6. All of this is so beautiful Marina!! Happy New Year to you and your too :)

  7. These look amazing. We are visiting Santa Barbara for New Years...any restaurant suggestions? Your blog posts are my favorite! Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. Hi Tracy! I hope you have a wonderful time here in SB for New Years!

      Yes I have lots of recommendations. Feel free to email me for more, but here are a few :) Also depends where you'll be staying.

      Sushi: Arigato (great location on State St.)
      California cuisine: Opal (great location on State St.)
      Seafood: Brophy Brothers (gets very busy but in the harbor with amazing views)
      Italian: Ca Dario, Trattoria Vittoria (both downtown good walking areas)
      On-the-beach: Shoreline Cafe (very casual, beautiful view)
      Best pancakes: East Beach Grill
      Super high end fancy in Montecito: San Ysidro Ranch, Lucky's, Trattoria Mollie (Oprah's favorite), Montecito Cafe

    2. Oh, here are a few more I just thought of :)

      La Super Rica (Julia Childs' favorite!) dive Mexican food. Not in the best location but delicious.
      Fresco if you will be uptown and just want a casual cafe type lunch or dinner
      Scarlet Begonia for breakfast downtown is a great resource

    3. Happy New Year! Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions. We really enjoyed downtown SB. Brophy Brother's was so yummy! Santa Ynez was fun as well! Coffee from French Press made the ride back to AZ a little sweeter! We look so forward to visiting again. :-)

  8. These are so gorgeous, and a whole lot classier than potato chips! Happy New Year Marina!

  9. wow - I love these , theyre so delicate and classy. I'm going to have to whip these out on the sly to impress my mates...just act as though I make this kind of thing all the time next time they come over for beers ;)

  10. These are so pretty! Happy new year!

  11. Ohhhhh my goodness! Thiose are just too stunning to eat....almost! I hope you had a fabulous Holiday!

  12. I love the color!! Happy New Year - Marina.

  13. gorgeous photos! Happy New Year!

  14. Anonymous10:56 AM

    beautifuls photos and food ! Happy New Year !

  15. These are just so beautiful that I may need to make an addition to my menu for tomorrow night!

  16. These look so delicious and beautiful for NYE or anytime! Happy New Year, Marina!!!

  17. Waw ! Yummy

    Happy New Year :D


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