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Monday, July 27, 2009

Mini Goat Cheese & Honey Tarts

For the past few months, I have been a member of a book club started by some of my coworkers, and it is always one of the highlights of my week. (Hi ladies!) To be completely honest, though, we like to eat as much as we like to read. We started out with early morning meetings at Starbucks, discussing the books over coffee and pastries. Then we moved to afternoon meetings at Panera or the Barnes & Noble cafe. Now, we still have our regular weekly meetings with snacks, but the final meeting for each book is held at a member’s house where we watch the book’s corresponding movie and enjoy a pot luck dinner. To make it even better, we have themed dinners to celebrate the latest book.

So far, I have contributed to these meals with a different course each time, covering salad, main entree and dessert (red velvet cake for our all-red Dracula party). For our latest party – honey themed for The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – I claimed appetizers for something new.

So, I took it upon myself to create an appetizer that incorporated honey but was still a savory bite to begin the meal. I looked at what I already had at home to add and found walnuts and various herbs. Enter goat cheese and pre-made phyllo cups and you have a tasty appetizer than uses a lot of my favorite ingredients!

Mini Goat Cheese and Honey Tarts
makes 20 appetizers

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1/4 t. dried thyme
  • pinch coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 packages phyllo cups (from the freezer section)
  • chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the first five ingredients until combined and creamy.

Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to spoon the filling into the cups, being careful not to crack the phyllo.

Sprinkle each with the chopped walnuts and lightly press down into the filling.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until filling is slightly melted and the walnuts are lightly toasted.

At first I was afraid these would be too much like a dessert from the sweetness of the honey, but the herbs and pepper add a nice savory contrast. Overall, I think they were a big hit at the party – at least the platter was empty when I left for home!

What are some of your favorite, easily prepared appetizers?


Anonymous said...

Those look great! I would love them but to get them past my hubby, I would have to sub the goat cheese. Do you think cream cheese would work?

Rachel said...


I think cream cheese would work just fine, just make sure to soften it first so it will mix easily and won't break the delicate phyllo shells.

Holly said...

These were sooooooooo good! <3

Rachel said...

Thanks Holly!

brian b. said...

If we don't care for goat cheese can we use cream cheese?

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