The Pairing: Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese + Dried Cherry Almond Cookies

The Cheese: Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog (Goat, California)

I am a fan of goat cheese, plain and simple. There’s something about the tang and texture that I luuurve. Humboldt Fog is an interesting one because it has a very recognizable ash line. In the old days, farmers used to milk their livestock twice a day. The morning milk would be started for the cheese, and they would put ash on top of it to keep the flies off.  Now a days, Humboldt Fog’s ash line is more decorative – and vegetarian. It’s tasteless and is more of a visual thing — when you see it, you know it’s Humboldt Fog. The cheese is lemon-y and bright and slightly chalky in the center, but has a cream line that’s oozy.

The Accompaniment: Dried Cherry Almond Cookies

Cookies (Recipe from Bon Appetit):

  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Mix first 7 ingredients in bowl. Stir butter and honey in another medium bowl. Add flour mixture; stir to blend (dough will be thin). Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes to thicken.

Spoon dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing apart (about 6 cookies per sheet). Bake until deep golden, lacy, and bubbling, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool cookies on sheet 5 minutes. Using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Why This Pairing Works: I wanted to do something to kick the tang up a notch, so I thought dried cherries would be awesome. I love cherries with goat cheese. Usually I’d do dried cherries soaked in port wine, but I decided to incorporate them in a different way, and add a little texture. The cherries in this are sour, but the cookie itself is sweet, and the almonds are sweet and subtle as well. The recipe calls for sliced almonds, but I used Marcona (Spanish) almonds to add a little saltiness for balance.

Wine Recos: Sauvignon Blanc

~ Dana

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