The cute little chicks get their yellow hue from turmeric, which delivers a lot of color with a mild flavor, and are decorated with dried apricots, almonds, peppercorns and mini pretzels.
Start the cheese ball mix by grating your cheddar. This is really fast in a food processor with a grating attachment but can also be done with a hand grater. Either way, make sure to use the smallest holes.
Use clean and dry hands to mix the cheddar, softened cream cheese, turmeric, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper.
Roll the cheese into 18 balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
Use a pair of scissors to cut dried apricots into quarters.
Break the ends off a mini pretzel, and poke each end into the base of the cheese ball for feet, then press 2 apricot quarters into the middle of each side for wings.
Poke the round end of a small almond into the front and center for a beak, and press 2 peppercorns above it for eyes.
Place each cheese ball on a round cracker. I used whole-wheat Ritz.
These chicks are incredibly cute, and kids will love them, but make sure to warn them to not eat the peppercorns. Otherwise there will be tears. Yep, that's experience talking.
Keep the cheese balls refrigerated until an hour before serving. You can make them up to 24 hours in advance, then pull them out as you're setting up for guests.
These little baby chick-shaped cheese balls are a cheerful yellow and so adorable. Marcona almonds, which are smaller and rounder than other almonds, work best for their beaks, but you can use larger almonds if you can't find the marcona variety.
Total time: 30 minutes
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