With just a few days till Christmas, I have a few last-minute ideas to share with you this week as we finish getting ready for the big day! Today I’m kicking things off with my Christmas Tree Cheese Ball. Let’s dig in!
I wish I could take complete credit for this creative and festive Christmas Tree Cheese Ball, but I can’t. The truth is I saw a few of these on the internet this past week, and I couldn’t resist making my own version. It seemed especially appropriate given the popularity of the Everything Bagel Cheese Ball I shared this fall. I figured it needed a sidekick for the season!
If you’re a longtime follower of Inspired by Charm, you’ll know that cheese is one of my favorite foods and probably the reason I’ll never have six-pack abs. (But I’m okay with that. Bring on the cheese!) Although it might be a bit of a throwback, I still love a cheeseball for entertaining. And with a few creative touches, it doesn’t have to be staid and boring. You can make mini cheese balls or shape them into apples or pumpkins. Today, a Christmas tree is our inspiration!
This cheese ball starts with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, shredded cheddar, green onions, pimientos, and spices.
Once these ingredients are well combined, let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before shaping. This will make working with it much easier. I created the tree shape using my hands (in a v-shape with palms together) on a clean kitchen counter. Just roll the mixture back and forth and shape as you go.
Once your Christmas Tree Cheese Ball is formed, you’re ready to decorate. I recommend starting with tomatoes, then adding chopped parsley, followed by almonds and red pepper.
As you can probably see, I added the almonds before the parsley and this was a bit more challenging. Also, feel free to use whatever garnishes you like. I found that tomatoes, almonds, and peppers work well with the flavors of the cheeseball, but decorate your Christmas Tree Cheese Ball with whatever suits you.
Two quick tips. First, use a yellow pepper to create the star on top of the tree. I found it easier to cut out the star with kitchen shears rather than a knife. Second, if any parsley sticks to the almonds or tomatoes, gently brush it off with a clean pastry brush.
Your Christmas Tree Cheese Ball is now ready to serve. I promise it will be the merriest appetizer on your table!
Here's what you will need:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 yellow pepper, chopped and cut into a star
Assorted crackers and pretzels
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fully. Beat in cheddar cheese, onions, pimientos, butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Roll and press the cheese ball mixture into the shape of a Christmas tree. Garnish first with the cherry tomato halves, then add parsley, followed by the sliced almonds and peppers. Serve with assorted crackers and pretzels.
Voila! Christmas appetizer perfected!
While it takes a bit longer to put together (maybe an extra 10 minutes), I think the results are well worth it. Your guests will definitely be impressed with the special touch of holiday merriment. Enjoy!