Three Cheese Ball Recipes
While I understand that the main fames of the feast on Thanksgiving are turkey and stuffing, I have to be honest—I get more amped over the appetizers. Turkey and stuffing are the same to me every year, but a yummy appetizer to nosh on while waiting for the “Dinner’s ready” announcement or to snack on during board games (a must in my family) is something to look forward to.
Both my mother and mother-in-law make crave-worthy dishes each holiday that are completely cheesy—in a very good way. Momma’s creamy, oven-baked mac and cheese is requested at every gathering, at every holiday, at every relative’s house she visits. And my mother-in-law takes pride in the grand assortment of cheeses she serves cut in perfect cubes or slices and placed artfully on a large platter.
As much as I love the cheese platter or even a well-planned cheese and charcuterie board, I’m going a new route this year with three variations of cheese balls. The best thing about this Martha Stewart-inspired recipe is that the bases are all the same, but you can mix and match ingredients to come up with your own spin.
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3 packages of 8 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 dashes hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot is my pick)
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
Combine butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Divide equally among 3 medium bowls.
Cheddar and Almond
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup toasted almonds, sliced
Assorted crackers for serving
Stir cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard with the base mixture in the first bowl. Form into a ball*, then roll in toasted almonds to coat. Serve with assorted crackers.
Goat Cheese and Cranberry
8 oz goat cheese
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¾ cup dried cranberries
Water crackers for serving
Stir goat cheese and rosemary with the base mixture in the second bowl. Form into a ball*, then roll in cranberries to coat. Serve with water crackers.
Bacon, Havarti and Scallion
8 oz havarti cheese
5 strips of bacon, cooked
2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
1 tsp cumin
1 English cucumber, sliced for serving
Stir havarti and cumin with the base mixture in the third bowl. Form into a ball*, then roll in bacon and scallions to coat. Serve with cucumbers.
*After forming cheese balls, they can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.