Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Cheese Balls with Crackers

Growing up, I remember always helping my Mother make cheese balls for friends & family. I would grate the cheese, my Mom would mix, then I would roll them around in the red powder. Now I have my own family, I decided I would carry on the tradition.

Directions

8 c. Mozzarella Cheese
8 c. Mild Cheddar Cheese
4 c. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
6 bxs of Cream Cheese
4 c. Pecans - chopped small
3 tbl. Minced Onions
3 tsp. Garlic Salt
2 tbl. Dried Chives (optional-decorative)
Chili Powder
Paprika

In two large bowls, equally divide up the cheese, pecans, onion, garlic salt, & chives.






Mix ingredients by squeezing all together. 







Grab a hand full of cheese mixture, form into a fist size ball & place on wax paper. I usually make a few balls larger than others, because some of my friends have large families while others just have one or two in their family.





On a large flat plate, pour equal amounts of chili powder and paprika and mix with a fork.






Roll cheese balls in red powder mix until the ball is fully coated.  I was fortunate enough to have my friend help me with rolling while I formed the balls.  My son was at school & my partner was at work. :(





Individually wrap each cheese ball & store in the fridge until ready to deliver.  I wrap the ball separate because some people might want to put the cheese ball in the fridge & save it for later, but not put the crackers in the fridge.





Place cheese ball on a decorated paper plate, with crackers & wrap the whole plate with plastic wrap.  This year, I gave a cheese ball to the ladies who work so hard at the school, so I added a knife to make it easier for them to enjoy it while they were working.




I usually garnish with a bow & tags I have printed.  In the past I used sticky labels as my tag, but this year, I laminated my printouts so that they may keep the web address to the directions & ingredients that I printed on the labels.





This year, I used a different assortment of crackers. I am partial to Ritz, so I used Original, Garlic Butter & Whole Wheat flavors. I also like Wheat Thins, so I used Original &Tomato Basil flavors.  In the past when I would make the cheese balls with my Mom, she would use Ritz, Town & Club crackers. Of course that was way before they have ever made flavored crackers.

Next year, I am going to try using Pepper Jack Cheese... mmmm....

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