Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Cheese Ball

Love the look of the different colors of peppers.
Our family has a tradition of gathering on New Year's Eve to play board games and socialize. We usually have a main dish, but then everyone brings their favorite finger foods. One of my favorites growing up was having a holiday cheese ball. It was not the holidays without this scrumptious snack.

Not all cheese balls are created equal and this one is sure to delight your taste buds. Once you have homemade, it's hard to go back to store-bought ones. It doesn't take much time to make your own and I love knowing exactly what's in it. It definitely tastes better, too. This is my go-to recipe and it's a family favorite.

This cheese ball is my favorite because it's easy to make, looks festive for the holidays, it tastes awesome and the ingredients are simple. It's savory with a hint of sweetness. And I typically always have the ingredients on-hand, so it comes together quickly if I need something when company comes over or I need to take something to a gathering. You can serve this with your favorite crackers or pretzels. I love using Wheat Thins. You can also choose what kind of nuts to use to encapsulate the cheese ball. I use whatever I have on-hand, but my favorite is chopped pecans. This makes 2 cheese balls and they keep well in the refrigerator for a week or more, so you can do this ahead of time.

Here's what you need:

-( 2)  8 oz pkgs. of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
-1 C crushed pineapple, drained well
-¼  C chopped green pepper (I love using a mixture of green, red and orange)
-1 TBS chopped onion (optional)
-1/2 tsp seasoned salt (can use up to a tsp if you prefer things more salty)
-1 C chopped  pecans (or you can use your favorite chopped nut)

1. Mix all ingredients together except for nuts.

2. Take a piece of plastic wrap and spread out 1/4 C of the chopped pecans. Place half of cream cheese mixture on top of pecans and sprinkle with another 1/4 C. of chopped pecans. Form into a ball and roll until the outside of the cheese ball is covered in pecans. Repeat this process for the other cheese ball.

3. Cover the cheese balls with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Holiday Cheese Ball
Serve with Wheat Thins, Ritz, Townhouse or Club crackers. Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Here is the printable recipe.

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