Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

Don’t be average.  Go for the gold with this, the bagel of champions with its abundant goat and cream cheese spread, a saucy mixture of cranberry-n-cherries, and cracked pepper sprinkled on top.  YUM!  This last weekend, I crushed the finish line at the 10k Griffith Park Trail Run.  Now, when I say crushed, what I really mean is that my heavy leg and foot, landed so hard on the finish line, that I think I crushed the mechanical wires that supported the finish line.  No, but seriously, the point is – I finished the race.  And finished strong as I knew I had this breakfast bagel to look forward to and did I mention it’s guilt-free?

Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

We ran on behalf of a charity called META (Make Education The Answer).  The race is one tough mudder, but with the Freemark Financial Team encouraging one foot in front of the other, we all successfully completed the race.  The race course is chock full of steep elevation pitches, ninja hills, and wooden plank stairs.  Sounds fun, huh?


But, let’s be honest, I think what kept me going as the carrot dangling in front of my hungry face were visions of bagels dancing in my head. I mean, these races are ridiculously fun.  (It’s all a state of mine, folks!) And, did I mention that ridiculous = super chow-down post run? Score!

Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

Let me explain ‘ridiculous’ eating.  Well, my mind embraces the idea that when you run, you should reward yourself.  And, when you run something like a 10k, you should reward yourself A LOT.  And for this Sweet Nerd, that reward comes in the form of sweets (and wine).  So, let’s get on to the rewarding part of this trophy-worthy breakfast.

The ingredients for this bagel can vary depending on the season, but since we are in the thick of fall, I chose cranberries as the featured fruit and threw in 1/3 of frozen cherries. Some nice autumn-appropriate substitutions can be persimmons, apples, or other fruit faves of your choice.

First, I make an easy concoction of cream and goat cheese, then spread it on a toasted bagel.  Then, I used a mill and crack fresh pepper on top.  Are you getting hungry yet?

Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat CheeseYou will love how the cracked pepper cuts the sweetness of the cranberry-n-cherry sauce.  Go ahead and be creative with seasonal substitutions as it all depends on what your favorite fruits are. 

Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

In a saucepan, create this scrumptious cranberry-n-cherry sauce by adding wine, fruit, and, of course, some sugar.  It smells wonderful while simmering, as if the scents of fall have come alive, and the colors are so sharp and bold.  I am in love .

When your sauce is done, let it cool at room temperature as it will become less runny and more sauce-like.  Next, is the fun part.  Ring that cowbell and get your fellow runners to join in on the fun with assembling these delicious bagels.  They may be tired from the race, but I guarantee you they’ll find that last burst of energy as they queue up for the bagel line.  Enjoy these carbs – you deserve it!

Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Cranberry Pepper Goat Cheese Bagel

By TheSweetNerd  ,

November 17, 2016

  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins


Fruit Sauce

2 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen 8 oz. bag, thawed) cranberries

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup sugar

1 8 oz. bag frozen cherries

Goat Cheese Spread

1/2 pound chilled fresh goat cheese

3/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bagels, for toasting


Fruit Sauce

1Bring cranberries, wine, sugar, and kumquats to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries burst and release juices, approx. 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Goat Cheese Spread

1Using an electric mixer, mix the cheese, cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Scrape into bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2Assemble the toasted bagels with the cream cheese mixture, and top with the cranberry-n-cherry sauce. Enjoy!


Bagel of Champions with Cranberry, Black Pepper, and Goat Cheese

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