Food

23 Most Glorious Balls Of Cheese You've Ever Seen

If you've never dipped a Ritz cracker into a turkey-shaped cheese ball in front of a football game on Thanksgiving then you've got some living to do.

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But you're not here to see basic.

Great Balls of Cheese, a new cookbook by Michelle Buffardi, offers 50-plus recipes for incredibly creative balls of cheese. Some recipes from the book are included below. (The other recipes are sourced from various websites). If you like what you see, check out the cookbook here.

Here re a few recipes courtesy of the book's author Michelle Buffardi.

Spicy Corn Ball

Serves 12–15

I made this once for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, and a family member, whose name I will not mention, ate nearly the entire thing. It's that good. I recommend issuing a warning to guests: Save room for tacos.

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup corn, canned or frozen, thawed and drained well

1⁄4 cup chopped scallions

2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle in adobo

3⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cumin

1⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt

Corn chips or crackers, for serving

PREPARATION

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, corn, scallions, chipotle, 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro (reserve the rest for coating the cheese ball), garlic, cumin, and salt until combined. Form the mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Before serving, roll in the remaining cilantro to coat.

Serve with crackers.

Nacho Cat Ball

Serves 15–20

The nacho-cheesy flavor of this cat works really well with tortilla chips, but if you try to dip a chip into this feline, it'll break. Instead, spread the cheese onto tortilla chips, or serve it with crackers instead.

INGREDIENTS

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1⁄2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, preferably orange

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato salsa

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Pinch coarse salt

1 carrot, 2 nacho cheese tortilla chips, 1 pitted black olive, and fresh chives, for decorating

Tortilla chips or crackers, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, onion, jalapeño, salsa, cumin, and salt until combined. Form the mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

While the mixture is chilling, peel strips from the carrot to use as "stripes" on the cat and set aside. Peel the carrot until you reach the middle. Remove any bits of carrot sticking to the core of the carrot and reserve for the cat's tail.

Before serving, unwrap the cheese ball and break off a 3-ounce portion (about the size of a golf ball), roll into a ball, and set aside; this will be the cat's head. Form the remaining cheese mixture into an egg shape, and place on a plate. Arrange the reserved carrot strips on the egg shape to make the stripes.

Attach the reserved carrot to the back of the cat for the tail. Place the reserved golf ball-sized cheese ball on top of the cat to make the head. Stick the chips in for the cat's ears. Cut the olive into eyes and a mouth and arrange on the cat's face. Finish with pieces of chives for the cat's whiskers.

Serve with crackers.

Beer-Pretzel Ball

Serves 12–15

You'll need just a cup of beer for this cheese ball, but buy a six-pack or a case; it's not redundant to eat this pretzel-covered beer-spiked snack with a frosty mug of beer.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups shredded Swiss cheese

5 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 cup ale, such as Bass

1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt

Dash hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot

4 ounces pretzels, crushed, for coating

Crackers or thick pretzels, for serving

INGREDIENTS

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the Swiss, cheddar, cream cheese, shallots, beer, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and hot sauce. Form the mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Before serving, roll the cheese ball in the pretzels to coat.

Serve with crackers or thick pretzels.