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Food Deadline Cranberry Cheese
Cranberry goat cheese log adds color to holiday snack trays. (AP Photo)

This festive cheese log was inspired by a goat cheese wrapped in cranberry sauce sold by Trader Joe’s.

It is a combination of rich, creamy cheese and tart, sweet cranberries.

We wanted a higher cranberry-to-cheese ratio. We also thought making the cranberry sauce from fresh berries would improve the appearance of the final product, and it did.

Serve this with bread or crackers. It also can be prepared a day or two ahead of time.

Cranberry goat cheese log

Start to finish: 1 hour (20 minutes active)

1/4-oz. pkg. gelatin

1/4 cup water

12-oz. pkg. fresh cranberries

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cranberry juice

1/4 cup raspberry or orange liqueur

16-oz. log goat cheese

In a small glass combine the gelatin and water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high, combine the cranberries, cinnamon, sugar, cranberry juice and liqueur. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.

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Add the gelatin mixture and boil until the mixture resembles a very thick jelly or compote.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Place the saucepan in the ice bath to cool.

Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, lay an 18-inch sheet of plastic wrap on the counter.

Spoon about 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce into an even rectangle slightly longer than the goat cheese log. Place the goat cheese on top of the sauce.

Spoon the remaining cranberry sauce mixture over the log, coating it evenly.

Gently roll the log up in the wrap, using the plastic to mold the sauce evenly around the cheese. Twist each end closed.

Freeze to allow the cranberry mixture to set, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and gently remove the plastic wrap on a cutting board. Use dental floss (unflavored) or string to slice the log into rounds.

Serve with toasted pita wedges or crackers.

Makes 8 servings.