Today I’m making my Spicy Cheese Log. I think cheese logs are a very creative way to serve cheese at a party. We all enjoy cheese and crackers but love the interesting combination of flavors and textures of added herbs and nuts in cheese logs. I’m sure you have seen the cheese logs that are sold at the supermarkets and specialty grocery stores for holidays and game days in the form of logs and balls. Both cheese logs and cheese balls are really easy to make at home and will cost you at least half the price that they charge you at the supermarkets. You can get creative with your ingredients and choose from a variety of nuts, herbs, dried fruit and spices. You can choose from a variety of cheeses and the possibilities of other added ingredients are endless. You basically need a soft cheese with a consistency similar to cream cheese to make combining and shaping the ingredients possible. Then you will need to shred at least one more cheese and blend it with the cream cheese and then add the rest of your favorite ingredients.
I have used regular cream cheese because it has a delicious yet neutral flavor that does not clash with the rest of my ingredients and best of all it is conveniently available in regular supermarkets. I have added shredded pepper jack cheese that is one of my favorite cheeses. I like the right amount of heat it adds to this cheese log.
First I beat the pepper jack, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce and ground cumin until I get a smooth spreadable consistency. Next, I stir in fresh dill and chives at a very low speed until just blended. Beating the fresh herbs at a high speed will give the cheese log a greenish color.
Then the cheese mixture is made into two logs. The logs are then coated with the store bought sliced almonds and refrigerated for couple of hours before serving. If you wish, you could prepare the cheese logs up to 3 days in advance without coating them with the sliced almonds. The reason is that the sliced almonds lose their crunchiness and get soft when refrigerated for longer than couple of hours.
Leave the cheese logs whole or slice them into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve with cracker, pretzels and slices of fruits or vegetables.
Chill Time: At least 1-2 hours and up to 3 days
Yield: Two 5-inch cheese logs
- Two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 10 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBSP thinly sliced fresh chives
- 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh dill
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Add the softened cream cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, Worcestershire sauce and ground cumin to the large bowl of a stand mixer fit with the beater attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed a little bit if the cheese pieces start to scatter out of the bowl.
- Reduce the speed and stir in the sliced chives and chopped dill and mix only until well blended (over beating the herbs will result in a greenish tinge to the cheese log)
- Transfer the content of the mixer bowl to a flat surface and divide it into 2 equal parts. Roll each piece into a 5-inch log.
- Divide the sliced almonds in half and add each half to a 10 x 10 inch parchment paper. Use the parchment paper to help roll the logs in the sliced almonds until coated evenly, including the ends. Tuck in the ends of the paper and wrap each log in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Serve the cheese logs whole or sliced, with pretzels, crackers and slices of fruit and vegetables.