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.Β 

Β 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.Β 

Blackberry Goat Cheese Crackers
printer friendly recipeΒ 

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.