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Goat Cheese and Shallot Toasts

The addition of sweet cream to soft goat cheese tempers its tanginess while making it light and easy to spread. Pink peppercorns scattered across the top add color and complement the shallots.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette
  • 5 oz. soft goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 to 6 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 or 3 small shallots, minced
  • 3 Tbs. pink peppercorns, smashed

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Cut the baguette on the diagonal into slices 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the slices in a single layer on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Turn the slices and bake until the other side is lightly golden as well, about 10 minutes more. Set aside.

Put the goat cheese in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add 1 Tbs. of the cream and mash it in. Continue to add the cream, 1 Tbs. at a time, until you have a soft, mild spread. Mix in the salt and the shallots to taste.

When ready to serve, spread each baguette toast with the cheese and shallot spread and top with several pink peppercorns. Serves 12 to 14.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).