It’s finally December and I am in full holiday mode! I have all of my Christmas decorations up (actually, they’ve been up since November 12th) and I have been listening to Christmas albums, baking cookies, planning a Christmas party (stay tuned for that!), and have been drinking many cups of hot chocolate 😛 I’m 100% in the Christmas spirit!
If you were following me last December you will know all about #AppyHolidays and I’m so happy to announce that it is back again this year! For those of you who don’t know about #AppyHolidays, it’s essentially a fun series that I do on my blog during December. Every Wednesday of the month I will be posting a wonderful holiday appetizer that you can make for any parties you may be hosting or are attending this season. I’m also going to throw in a few surprise/bonus posts here and there so make sure you follow along! Of course, as with all my recipes, I use the most local and seasonal ingredients that are available to make the dishes taste extra special.
For my first #AppyHolidays post, we are going with a retro holiday appetizer… a Holiday Cheese Ball! I mean what are the holidays without cheese?! Cheese balls are typically made with two types of cheese: cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I’ve even seen fancy cheese balls made with goats cheese too. But for this recipe, I’m changing it up slightly and using sharp, aged white cheddar cheese rather than the regular-old orange cheddar. It’s the holidays after all, so let’s get fancy!
I flavour this Holiday Cheese Ball with plenty of green onion and chives and give it a good kick with some dried chili flakes. I also add some crunch with chopped pecans and a bit of chewy texture with dried cranberries. To lighten it all up, I use some freshly grated lemon zest. The addition of lemon zest is very important in this recipe as it lifts all the flavours in the cheese ball and makes it seem a lot less heavy!
I use the chives, pecans and dried cranberries again to form a beautiful holiday-inspired crust around the cheese ball. This step is totally optional, but it looks really impressive when presented! I love the red cranberries- they look like little jewels on the outside of the cheese ball. And with the addition of the delicate green chives and sharp-edged pecans, these textures and colour palette totally works for the holidays.
I like to serve my Holiday Cheese Ball with some gluten-free crackers, but you can use any cracker you like, or you can even serve it with toasted baguette! That would also be scrumptious!
So there you have it! A delicious and easy Holiday Cheese Ball that is the perfect appetizer for any holiday parties this season. Be sure to follow along for many more #AppyHolidays posts and even more great holiday recipes!
For the full recipe, click here!