Holiday Cheese Balls – Throw Back Thursday

The holidays are here! If you’re planning on having a holiday party with  appetizers, these cheese balls are easy and delicious!

The first cheese ball is recorded to have been created in the 1800s – and it was a big one!! Over 1000 pounds of cheese!!

Cheese balls started in popularity in the 1940s when it was first shown in print in a cookbook called, Food of My Friends. Holiday parties had to be frugal as much food was rationed. They continued to be a party favorite until the 1970s.  A New York Times article likened them to disco balls, lava lamps and shag carpet – and they fell out of favor.

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They have recently had a resurgence with all the artisan cheeses that are now flooding the market. This recipe has three variations – and you can change it up to suit your own tastes! Are you ready to  holiday cheese ball?

Here’s How to Do it:

Cheese balls consist of cheese, seasonings and optional toppings to roll them in. The most popular is to roll them in chopped nuts (no nuts here though).

The directions are the same for all three cheese balls.

Place the cream cheese, shredded cheese and any seasonings or flavors in a food processor fitted with a blade.

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Process until it’s smooth.

If you are adding any additional ingredients that you don’t want ground into the cheese, fold it in now. This is where you add the sliced olives in the Christmas tree.

Stir gently –

Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours – giving the cream cheese a chance to harden up.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll into a ball or that shape of your choice. If you’ve added ingredients (like the olives) that add moisture to the mixture, put some canned parmesan on your hands to help keep it from sticking to your hands.

Roll it in the topping – or covering – the green onions on the tree here or the shredded fontina on the snowman (canned parmesan works good too)!

Hold the head on the snowman with a wooded skewer.

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Cut the decorations with cookie cutters or a sharp knife and add to the cheese ball. Cut with the skin side up. The cutter will cut easy through the bottom this way.

Chill again for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or crostini.

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And enjoy a bite of holiday history.

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© Copyright 2021 The Lazy Gastronome

Holiday

Holiday Cheese Balls - Three Variations

A popular holiday appetizer that is as versatile as you want it to be!

Course: Appetizer, appetizers
Cuisine: American, tbt, Vintage
Keyword: cheese, Christmas, cream cheese, holiday, holidays, vintage
Servings: 1 ball
Author: HelenFern
Ingredients
Snowman Cheese ball
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 -2/3 cup fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup is for rolling the balls)
  • 2/3 cup smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • pepper corns for eyes and buttons
  • small carrot tip for the nose
Ornament Ball
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup smoked gouda, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole pepper corns
  • Green and red bell pepper for garnish
Christmas Tree Ball
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup whole green olives with pimentos
  • 1/8 cup sliced green olives
  • chopped green onions (to roll the ball in)
  • Yellow bell pepper for star
Instructions
  1. The directions are the same for all three cheese balls. 

  2. Place the cream cheese, shredded cheese and any seasonings or flavors in a food processor fitted with a blade. Process until it's smooth.

  3. If you are adding any additional ingredients that you don't want ground into the cheese, fold it in now. This is where you stir in the sliced olives for the Christmas tree.

  4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours - giving the cream cheese a chance to firm up.

  5. Remove it from the refrigerator and roll into a ball or that shape of your choice. If you add ingredients that add moisture, like the Christmas tree, it will be softer and a little harder to roll. A little dry cheese (like canned parmesan) on your hands will help keep it from sticking to your hands while you roll it.

  6. Once you have the shape you want, roll it in the topping - or covering. The green onions on the Christmas tree, nuts if you choose, etc.

  7. Cut the decorations with a sharp knife or cookie cutters and add to the ball.

  8. Chill again for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or crostini.

  9. And enjoy a bite of holiday history. 

Recipe Notes

© Copyright 2021 The Lazy Gastronome

 

Here are some things that are perfect to use for this recipe!

Disclosure: The items below are affiliate links through Amazon.com. If you purchase any of these products through the links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!


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