A popular holiday appetizer that is as versatile as you want it to be!
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. 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 stir in the sliced olives for the Christmas tree.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours - giving the cream cheese a chance to firm up.
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.
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.
Cut the decorations with a sharp knife or cookie cutters and add to the ball.
Chill again for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or crostini.
And enjoy a bite of holiday history.
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