The Sweetest Thanksgiving Cheese Board You Ever Did See

November  8, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Marissa Mullen
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

A typical Thanksgiving meal is full of the classic savory dishes: a juicy turkey straight out of the oven, creamy mashed potatoes, a herbaceous stuffing, fluffy rolls; the list goes on. I find it difficult at times to curate the best appetizer for Thanksgiving that doesn’t overwhelm taste buds or appetites before the big meal. Though I love charcuterie boards as appetizers for Thanksgiving, the salty and fatty meats and briny accompaniments have very similar flavor profiles to the main meal itself. So, I wanted to create something that offered a vivid contrast for the guests, which may involve leaving the typical cheese pairing comfort zone.

This year, I decided to switch it up with a sweet cheese plate as an appetizer. This offers guests some creamy, chocolatey, and juicy flavors to munch on before (or after) the entrées. Before you write off the idea of cheese and chocolate, give it a try! A 75 percent dark chocolate, for example, has a complex profile of bitter and earthy-tasting notes and isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Some of my favorite pairings on this plate include the cocoa dusted cashews with the creamy french brie, dark chocolate almond bark with a nutty comté, and gingersnap cookies with the maple cinnamon cream cheese dip. I also added in some juicy and naturally sweet fruit, like gala apples, raspberries, and blackberries.

For a fun autumnal detail, slice your brie in half and use a leaf-shaped cookie cutter to cut the top into a funky shape! You can fill in the leaf cut-out with fig and apricot jams for a swirly, colorful foliage look. —Marissa Mullen

What You'll Need
  • Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup cream cheese; room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie seasoning
  • Cheese Board
  • 1 6-ounce wheel French brie
  • 1 6-ounce wedge Comté
  • 5 ounces maple cinnamon cream cheese (see above)
  • 5 ounces raspberries
  • 5 ounces blackberries
  • 1 Gala apple, cored and sliced thin
  • 4 ounces cocoa-dusted cashews
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate bark with almonds
  • 3 ounces spiced pecans
  • 1 packet gingersnap cookies
  • 3 ounces pumpkin butter, homemade or store-bought
  • 3 ounces apple butter
  • 1 handful rosemary sprigs
  • 1 handful pomegranate seeds
  • 1 bunch sage
  1. To make the maple cinnamon cream cheese, in a food processor, combine the cream cheese, maple syrup, milk and pumpkin spice seasoning until smooth.
  2. Select a board, one 3-ounce ramekin, and one-5 ounce bowl. Place the ramekin and bowl on opposite ends of the board. Arrange the two cheeses opposite each other on the board and fill the 5-ounce bowl with the maple cinnamon cream cheese dip. Fill the 3-ounce ramekin with apple butter.
  3. With a soft cheese knife, cut the brie directly in half lengthwise, 1 inch from the top. Then, with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter, cut a leaf shape into the top of the brie. On the other half of the brie, add a thin layer of apricot and fig jam and cover with the leaf from the cut-out brie half.
  4. Create piles of raspberries, blackberries and place apple slices in stacks throughout. Do not fill all of the space on the board. Fill empty gaps with chocolate, cocoa dusted almonds, gingersnaps and spiced pecans. Serve additional crackers on the side. Garnish the board with pomegranate seeds and herbs.

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Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.

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