Reindeer cheese triangles are a perfect snack or “bring-a-plate” item for the festive end-of-year holiday season. They’re very simple to put together but they look really sweet when completed. Best of all, they’re very tasty!
♦1 to 2 packages of Laughing Cow® cream cheese triangles (try to choose the different flavor packages for the best variety)
♦Mini pretzels, or smallest size–you’ll need two pretzels per cheese triangle and you can munch the rest of the bag
♦Black peppercorns, half olives, or other edible item for eyes
♦Tiny piece of red bell pepper (capsicum), tomato or other red savory food piece for the nose
Part 1 of 2: Preparation
1.Set up everything you need before making the reindeer. In this way, you can work through each reindeer in the manner of a production line without having to stop and chop anything or remove wrappers, etc.
2.Prepare the nose. Cut small triangle shapes from the bell pepper, tomato or other red savory food item you’re using as the nose. The triangle can be pretty rough but it shouldn’t be too large for the tip of the cheese. Cut sufficient for the amount of cheese triangles you’re using.
3.Prepare the eyes. If you’re using peppercorns, simply tip them into a small container to make them easy to grab. If using half olives or other food items needing chopping, cut them into small rounds now. Keep within easy reach.
4.Prepare the cheese triangles. Carefully unwrap each cheese triangle to be used. Take care not to pull off the end of the triangle as you’re unwrapping but if you accidentally do, the nose should cover this mistake. Take it slowly rather than rushing this step.
When peeled, lay the peeled cheese on a silicone sheet or parchment paper piece over a plate or tray, so that the cheese stays clean and is easy to pick up.
5.Count out the pretzels needed for each cheese. Ensure that you use only the ones that are perfect; do not use broken ones as they won’t work without all the holes being intact (feel free to munch on those ones). Small nicks out of the pretzels are okay unless you’re after perfection.
6.Prepare the serving plate. Ensure that it is clean and ready for food. Do not line it with anything made of paper––paper napkins, etc., will stick to the cheese and ruin it for eating. If you want to line it, use something made from plastic, silicone or another non-stick surface.
Part 2 of 2: Making the reindeer cheese triangles
1.Form the first reindeer triangle. It may be easiest to add the pretzels first, but you will likely find your own rhythm as you’re making the reindeer as everything stays stuck to the cheese once on, in which case, simply shift around the steps for adding the
features to suit your preference.
2.Add the pretzel antlers. Slide the bottom hole of a whole pretzel over the base corner of the wider end of the cheese triangle. It should fit snugly in place. Repeat for the other base corner on the wide end of the cheese triangle, again fitting it snugly. Presto, you have two antlers added without much ado.
3.Add the nose. On the single narrow tip end of the cheese triangle, gently press the nose shape on the top. It should stick fairly easily, as the cheese is sticky enough. However, you may need to adjust the nose size if you think it appears too big or small;
the first reindeer can be a good guide.
4.Add the eyes. Press in the peppercorns or olive halves gently where you think the eyes look best, a little way under the wide end of the cheese triangle. Be sure to space the eyes apart evenly, unless you want a crazy reindeer, which is fine too.
5.Place the reindeer carefully down on the serving plate. Stand back and check that you’re happy with how it has turned out. It now serves as the basic template to follow for the remaining cheese triangles.
6.Make the remaining reindeer cheese triangles in the same manner. You should find that you get quicker the more you make, as you hit a rhythm and get the knack for it. When each one is completed, carefully arrange on the serving platter.Cover with kitchen plastic wrap or other suitable covering to protect it until needed. Place in the refrigerator until serving time or serve immediately.
♦The items used for the nose and eyes are open to your own culinary interpretation. Feel free to experiment with whatever suitable food items you have to hand.
♦The reindeer cheese triangles don’t have to be perfectly neat unless you’re happy to put in the extra effort to make them that way; impressionist reindeer, with imperfectly cut noses and lopsided features, will work just as well and taste just as good.
Things You’ll Need
∇Cutting board and knife
∇Plate or tray lined with a silicone sheet or parchment/baking paper for resting peeled cheeses on
∇Clean hands (you may find that you need to keep washing them as you work with the cheese, so have a clean fluff-free cloth on hand to wipe your hands dry each time)
∇Serving platter (and suitable lining if desired)