How to Make an Elegant Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
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This light and bright Christmas tree charcuterie board has everything you could want in a holiday spread.
If you ask me, snacking is an essential part of Christmas. While some may focus on Christmas dinner as the main event, I think the appetizers (and the one-bite holiday desserts, too) leading up to it are just as important.
A Christmas tree charcuterie board doesn’t take too much time and energy, and it provides a variety of light bites that will still leave room for the Christmas ham. The best part? It’s easy to assemble! We share everything you need to know to build our holiday board.
How to Make a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
Foods to Include
We included a majority of items that don’t need any prep, with a few homemade treats that you can make ahead of time. Holiday colors and shapes are sprinkled lightly throughout for an elegant, yet festive board.
Cheeses and meat: You can’t have a proper charcuterie board without cheese and meat! We opted for salami, a classic charcuterie meat that everyone will love, as well as several types of cheese. A wheel of Brie fits in perfectly, made fancier with a gold cheese knife. A log of goat cheese rolled in fresh herbs provides a pop of Christmas green, and a wedge of gouda with a red rind provides that Christmas red. We also picked up slices of cheddar and mozzarella to line the edges of the tree.
Crackers, nuts and other salty items: Buttery snowflake Ritz crackers and snowflake-shaped pretzels bring a wintery touch, while also being perfect partners for the cheese and meat selections. Slow-cooker candied nuts would pair nicely too, making every bite sweet and salty. Castelvetrano olives are another green item on the board that will pleasantly surprise guests with their mild flavor.
Fruits: Berries and fruits add a bright freshness to the spread. Red strawberries and green grapes are welcome additions that touch on the Christmas color scheme, while blackberries, when sprinkled on top of the Brie, create a beautiful color contrast. Dried apricots remind us of fruitcake without actually baking up a loaf.
Homemade sweets: A white chocolate star sandwich cookie acts as the tree topper, while chocolate-dipped phyllo sticks serve as the tree trunk. Mini holiday meringues are a sophisticated way to bring in a touch of peppermint, and chewy homemade gumdrops will taste much better than anything you can buy at the store.
Other items: Sprigs of rosemary remind us of pine branches on real Christmas trees. They bring an intoxicating aroma to the kitchen.
How to Build a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
We assembled our Christmas tree charcuterie board right on a marble countertop, but feel free to build your spread on your favorite large charcuterie board instead. Picking a light marble backdrop makes it feel light and bright, and the sweeping diagonal lines remind us of garland wrapping around a tree.
Step 1: Start with the tree trunk
Lay your chocolate-covered phyllo sticks vertically, with the chocolate side pointing down. At the top of the bunch of phyllo sticks, spread out the holiday gumdrops to make the bottom of the tree.
Step 2: Add the Brie, holiday meringues and apricots
Put a cluster of the mini holiday meringues on the right side of the trunk above the gumdrops, tapering the right edge of the group of cookies inward like a tree. Right above the trunk, place the dried apricots to the left of the meringues, and the wheel of Brie above them.
Editor’s Tip: Cutting a few slices out of the wheel of Brie will encourage guests to feel comfortable digging in. Nobody wants to be the first to cut!
Step 3: Begin the first diagonal stripe
Pour out some of the slow-cooker candied nuts above the left-most portion of the gumdrops, on the left side of the tree trunk. Put a large cluster of green grapes above the dried apricots. Finally, lay out overlapping snowflake Ritz crackers up and over the wheel of Brie, creating the first diagonal stripe.
Step 4: Lay out the goat cheese
After you’ve rolled your tube of goat cheese in your choice of fresh herbs and cut it into slices, overlap them to form the second diagonal line.
Step 5: Set out the snowflake pretzels, salami and gouda
Set the wedge of gouda down length-wise to start the third diagonal line on the tree, finishing it with the snowflake-shaped pretzels. Next, create the fourth diagonal with the salami slices.
Putting the pretzels between the goat cheese, salami and gouda will give guests the idea that they’ll pair well together.
Step 6: Make the point of the tree
The Castelvetrano olives, strawberries and more mini holiday meringues will create the top of the tree. Cut some of the strawberries in half so that each berry’s white insides combined with the vibrant outsides will visually meld into the striking mini holiday meringues at the very top of the tree. Keep the hulls on to keep a little green!
Step 7: Top with the sandwich star cookie
Put the white chocolate sandwich star cookie at the very top of the tree.
Step 8: Don’t forget about the garnishes
Tuck in the sprigs of rosemary and thin triangles of mozzarella and cheddar cheese slices around the edges of the tree. Sprinkle blackberries on top of the Brie.
Step 9: Serve
Once the Christmas tree charcuterie board is assembled, serve it with holiday napkins and toothpicks for picking up olives and cheese. We also cracked open a bottle of rosé to serve with our board. Gold-rimmed snack plates and silverware would be a beautiful (and shimmery) finishing touch.
Tips for Making a Christmas Tree Charcuterie Board
What types of wine can you serve with this Christmas tree charcuterie board?
We serve our Christmas tree charcuterie board with rosè, but the white wine or bubbly of your choosing would work just as well. However, if your guests prefer red, that would be festive too. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could make a pitcher of Christmas sangria. Otherwise, a Christmas punch is sure to be a hit as well.
What else can you add to a Christmas tree charcuterie board?
Put anything you like on a Christmas tree-shaped board. You could arrange Christmas cookies in a triangle shape, or your veggie tray in the shape of a tree, making a bowl of dip at the top for the tree topper. Pull more ideas from our Christmas cheese board.
Can you assemble this charcuterie board ahead of time?
You should make the mini holiday meringues, candied nuts, gumdrops, white chocolate sandwich star cookies and chocolate-dipped phyllo sticks ahead of time. We recommend assembling the charcuterie board right before your guests arrive. Because we picked out items that are mostly ready to go, you shouldn’t have to budget much time for it!