Everyone remembers the classic-style cheese ball with a creamy cheese center and crunchy almond or pecan crust. This retro cocktail party food has made a delectable comeback with a few updated twists. Here are some simple cooking tips and recipes for making easy and elegant cheese balls for your next cocktail party or winter night in when you want a creamy cheesy appetizer.
Tips to make cheese balls
Cooking tip #1: Use the food processor
Cheese balls are not only a budget-friendly and impressive appetizer, they are also super simple to make. Save yourself time - and effort - by making cheese balls in a food processor or blender.
Cooking tip #2: Buy quality cheese
The most important component of your cheese balls is a good cheese. The classic-style cheese balls were typically composed of cream cheese and cheddar cheese. However, updated cheese balls can be made from any kind of cheese from brie to mozzarella. Experiment with all types and see what tastes best to you.
Cooking tip #3: Flavor with wine
Adding wine to your cheese mixture also creates an elegant updated flair. Use red or white — or even Champagne for an added sparkle. Not into wine? Try a good beer or liquor, such as brandy or amaretto.
Cooking tip #4: Add a natural sweetness
Fresh or dried fruit or chutneys are excellent mixed with a good cheese.
Cooking tip #5: Give a nutty crunch
The crust for a cheese ball has typically been nuts, such as almonds or pecans. It is nice to keep the crunchy crust, but give it a new twist by using crushed wasabi peas, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts or anything delectably crunchy.
Cooking tip #6: Try a new crust
Create a flavorful crust with chopped dried fruits, like cranberries or raisins, or fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme or sage.
Cooking tip #7: Downsize
For a change, instead of making a large cheese ball, make mini cheese balls for individual servings.
Cooking tip #8: Don't just serve crackers
What to serve with a cheese ball? Instead of the same old crackers or vegetables, try serving breadsticks, pita chips or vegetable chips.
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