My Canadians are in town. Well, not all of them but enough to keep my kitchen hopping! Which makes me happy, happy, happy! I love an excuse to camp out in the kitchen!
We were heading over to my brother-in-law’s this weekend and, not wanting to show up empty-handed, I decided to try out a new idea for Christmas! I’d seen the recipe for these Cheese Ball Pops from Cooking on the Side and thought it seemed like a great idea for a cheese ball!
Now, I made mine with goat cheese because I love it but if you’re not a fan, you could absolutely substitute cream cheese for a milder taste. As far as cheese goes, I like it when it bites back a little so me and goat cheese are old friends.
The twangy cheese mixture goes perfectly with the sweet cranberries and woody pecans and the whole thing just looks like Christmas on a plate! The green rosemary sprigs and red cranberries make for a very festive display and would be the star of any holiday party cheese board!
Christmas Cranberry Cheese Ball
8 ounces goat cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 5-oz. bag dried cranberries (about a cup and a half)
Rosemary springs for garnish (optional)
Assorted crackers for serving
Mix goat cheese or cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cheddar, milk, salt and pecans then continue mixing until well combined.
Line a small round bowl with plastic wrap then spoon cheese mixture into bowl. Press cheese firmly into bowl. Bring plastic up and over the top of cheese and gather to shape cheese into a ball. Seal ball with more plastic if necessary to completely cover then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. It’s OK if it’s kinda wonky at this point. Once it firms up you will be able to easily shape it into a perfect ball.
When ready to serve, arrange rosemary sprigs on a serving plate (I arranged mine like a wreath); set aside. Pour cranberries into a pie plate and separate any that might have stuck together; set aside.
Remove cheese ball (in plastic) from the bowl. Keeping cheese ball wrapped in the plastic, use hands to shape into a ball. When the cheese ball is perfectly round, roll in cranberries then set on rosemary sprigs. All of the cranberries won’t stick when you roll the cheese ball in them. That’s OK. Just piece them on until the cheese ball is nicely covered.
Serve with assorted crackers.