Last year around this time I created one of my favorite posts. However, it was for my friends over at BHG. (Shout out to Eddie Ross for originating this super chic idea!) And while it got a mention here on IBC, I never really shared the recipes from it. To remedy the situation, I thought we’d have a Throwback Thursday here on the blog.
The recipes I want to tell you about are for these adorable and delicious fall cheese balls. What makes them extra special (beyond the fact that they are balls of cheese you can eat) is that they are designed to look like apples.
This fabulously simple idea will take your fall entertaining to the next level. Trust me. Your guests will be impressed.
I’m going to share a few variations of these cheese balls, but feel free to get creative with your ingredients and toppings. The one thing I do recommend is using freshly shredded cheese. As much as I love the convenience of the packaged variety, you can’t beat the flavor and texture of freshly shredded.
Let’s get right into the recipes. First, we’ll make this bright red white cheddar cheese ball.
(Makes one cheese ball)
Here's what you will need:
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Paprika for dusting
Cutting from a small branch
Using a hand mixer, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, garlic power and ground red pepper in a large bowl until smooth.
Then shape the cheese mixture into a ball. No need to be perfect here as apples aren't uniformly shaped. Make an indentation in the ball with your thumb to resemble the top of an apple. Chill ball for 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and coat the cheese ball heavily with paprika. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. Insert a branch with leaves to create an "apple stem."
Simple, right? A small tweak makes a boring cheese ball something really special.
Next, let’s talk about making two other “apples.” The recipe for these cheese balls is pretty much the same as the previous one; the outside coating is the main difference.
One of the “apples” is rolled in finely crushed pistachios; the other is coated with finely crush walnuts and finely chopped bacon. Let me take you through the recipe.
(Makes two cheese balls)
Here's what you will need:
16 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup kalamata olives (or pimientos), drained and chopped
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
8 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1/3 cup walnuts, finally chopped
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped*
1 tablespoon paprika*
*Optional depending on preferred coating.
Using a hand mixer, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, kalamata olives (or pimientos), apricot preserves, milk, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and about 1/2 of the bacon in a large bowl until smooth.
Then shape the cheese mixture into 2 balls. Again, there is no need to be perfect here since apples aren't uniformly shaped. Make an indentation in the top of each with your thumb so the balls resemble apples. Chill them for 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and coat the cheese balls in the remaining chopped bacon and walnuts. (If preferred, the balls could instead be covered in pistachio nuts mixed with paprika.) Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. Insert a branch with leaves to resemble an apple stem.
Simple, elegant, and absolutely delicious. How can you go wrong with a ball of cheese?
Serve these up with some crackers, toasted bread, or veggies and you’ll be ready to party. Oh, and don’t forget the wine (and an invitation for me).
Happy Fall Entertaining!