We want to share another DIY appetizer idea with you for the Christmas season and for the winter season. This one is nice because it’s fun, easy and festive, but not limited to Christmas only! Really, anytime of year if fine
Ingredients for PINECONE CHEESE BALL APPETIZER:
- 1 ¼ cups almonds
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup crumbled bacon pieces or packaged Real Bacon Bits
- 1 jalapeño, diced and seeds removed
- ½ cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: sprigs of rosemary for garnish
Directions PINECONE CHEESE BALL APPETIZER:
- Grate the cheese.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, bacon bits, diced jalapeño, and grated cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use clean hands and work the ingredients together to create a large ball. Chill overnight in covered bowl to allow flavors to blend.
- On a serving platter, divide cheese mixture into 2 portions and shape each into a pine cone. This works best by simply using your hands to roll each portion into a ball, then gently squeezing on end downwards to create somewhat of a narrow point.
- Press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pine cone shape. Continue to overlap rows until all of the cheese is covered.
- Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve at room temperature with crackers or toasted crostini.
Note: This cheese ball has a slight spiciness to it from the pepper jack cheese and jalapeño. To create a milder flavor, simply replace the pepper jack cheese with a milder cheese and substitute the jalapeño with green onions.