Food You Can Eat: The Nutsnacker

Snack on these nuts

In 1979, this wouldn't have seemed so strartling

This is one of the best things to come out of a corporate test kitchen since I don’t know when. This seems to have first appeared as an advertorial in magazines during the run-up to Christmas, 1979. Despite its name, you might want to include it on your Thanksgiving table tomorrow, or hold off and make it a cherished Christmas tradition.

Ingredients: (brand names removed)

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
½ clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup whole almonds, or as needed
3 large fresh rosemary sprigs

How to:

Stir cream cheese, goat cheese, parsley, tarragon, thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until smooth and well-mixed.

Turn cheese mixture out onto a serving platter and form into a tapered oval shape to resemble a pine cone.

Starting at the tapered end, press almonds into the cheese cone so that the tip of the almond is facing out and down, and cheese cone is completely covered with almonds and resembles a pine cone. Place rosemary sprigs at the top to resemble pine needles.



  1. I bet you could do that with just goat cheese and leave the nasty cream cheese out of the picture altogether.

    • That was my thought.  I love goat cheese with herbs, this looks fun.

    • Not if you were dreamed up by a famous American cream cheese company you couldn’t. But I’ll say no more.

      • Come to think of it, it’s Phillylicious! Just the thing to go with your holiday Philly style eggnog made with cream cheese instead of cream.

        • Cream cheese, especially one particular brand: what can’t it do?

  2. Goodness, that’s … something. I kinda love it.

  3. I don’t think I would enjoy a cheese dip with whole almonds. That texture doesn’t work for me with the rest of it.

    • I was actually wondering that myself. I think you’d have to soften the almonds somehow without them losing their salt and still looking firm. Maybe you could roast them, like garlic.

  4. Wowzers . . . Impress me with your presentation!

  5. And here I thought The NutSacker was a great name and conversation starter for any holiday party.

    • This is the wholesome Nutsnacker. You’ll find the Nutsacker in the adult aisle of the bakery.

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