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13 Secrets to the Perfect Cheese Platter + Chocolate Almonds Recipe

Here are the best tips for building a perfect cheese platter, plus a bonus recipe for Chocolate Cocoa Almonds!

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cheese platter
Varying flavors, textures, and colors are part of a great cheese platter.

13 Tips to the Perfect Cheese Platter

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful cheese platter. We break out cheese platters for casual and formal parties anytime of the year, which people quickly gravitate to. We also crave a good cheese board on date nights and casual parties.

Flavors, Textures, Colors

  1. Balance the flavors, from strong to mild cheeses (i.e. blue or havarti)
  2. Balance the textures from soft to hard cheeses (i.e., brie to parmigiano)
  3. If either #1 or #2 above cause a big question mark, chat with your neighborhood cheese specialist and let them help you figure out what to include.
  4. Separate knives or serving tools for strong vs. mild cheeses is a good idea. You can even pre-slice some of the cheeses for ease.
  5. Have a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes of goodies. This includes your cheeses- for instance, white brie wheel vs. yellow cheddar wedge.
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Crispy crostini are the ideal canvas for topping with cheeses and meats.

Temperature and Variety

  1. Room temperature! Rest your cheeses at moderate room temp 30-60 minutes before serving.
  2. Other chews besides the cheese. Think fruits, nuts, and seeds. We love dried fruits (i.e., figs) with fresh fruits. A mixture of salty and sweet nuts are always popular.
  3. Meat choices for those who enjoy salami, prosciutto, bresaola, or my own unique favorite: smoked salmon.
  4. Carbs. Don’t forget the crackers, bread, and toasts. Keep it simple; no chipotle-garlic flavored crackers, please.
  5. What’s your jam? Add some sweet fruit jam or honey to the mix. People love spooning it over their cheese and crackers.

How to Display Your Cheese Platter

  1. Spread out the spread. You can have 2 or 3 plates going at the same time, if it’s a larger party. Avoid the platter gridlock.
  2. Label the cheeses with a toothpick and sticker label. When there’s a larger variety of cheeses on my platter, labeling helps.
  3. Place nuts in their own separate containers. This makes it easier for people to help themselves. It also helps avoid contamination for those who have nut allergies.
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These cocoa almonds are super easy and intensely crunchy.

Cocoa Almonds

Here’s the easy (highly addictive) recipe for the chocolate cocoa almonds shown above.

They are ultra crunchy, lightly sweet, fully chocolatey, and all natural. Perfect for anytime snacking and party appetizers. Add a bowl of these to your cheese platter, for a bit of sweet crunch!

Chocolate Cocoa Almonds

5 from 1 vote
These super easy chocolate cocoa almonds are super easy and perfect for sharing and gifting. Yields 2 1/2 cups.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 ½ cups almonds, unsalted, raw
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB cocoa powder, real, unsweetened
  • tsp table salt, plus more as desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on middle position. Spread raw almonds into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (unlined.)
  • Bake 10 minutes, stopping once to shake the pan in between bake time. Almonds should be toasty and fragrant, but not burnt.
  • Pour toasted almonds into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to completely coat. Spread coated almonds back out onto baking sheet to cool completely.

Notes

  • Store chocolate cocoa almonds in airtight container up to several weeks.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 0.4IU | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: appetizers, snacks
Cuisine: Amerian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Method: Bake

Did you make this?

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