Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or entertaining for the holidays, it can be easy to make a fun – and festive – appetizer. In fact, here are three ways to bring something special to the table, step by step!
RECIPE #1: Pine Cone Cheese Ball
- Combine Packet 1 of English Toffee Cheese Ball Mix with 1 (8 oz) package of softened cream cheese; gently fold in Packet 2. Form the cheese ball into a cone shape, and chill 2 hours.
- Starting at the base, carefully press in sliced almonds at a slight angle all the way around the cone. So pretty, isn’t it?
If you prefer, you can divide your cheese ball mixture into two smaller “pine cones” and use sturdy whole almonds for quicker assembly.
- Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary. So easy and elegant! Bonus tip: For a savory version, make your “pine cones” with Cranberry Herb Cheese Ball Mix instead. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and the whole holiday season, too.
Want to create a rustic tablescape? Make your cheese balls into cute little hedgehogs! This one a fun favorite for the kiddos, too. Here’s how:
- Stir together English Toffee Cheese Ball Mix Packet 1 with 1 (8 oz.) package of softened cream cheese. Divide the mixture in half. Form each half into an oval – shaping one end into a narrow point to create the face. Place each one on a serving platter, and chill 2 hours.
- Press in 2 mini chocolate chips for the eyes, along with 1 mini chocolate chip for the nose. Gently insert whole almonds or pecans around the top and sides. Now come on … who can resist this face?
- For additional “spines” on your little hedgehogs, you can carefully sprinkle them with the crushed toffee from Packet 2. Complete your platter with sprigs of rosemary, sliced apples, graham crackers and fresh berries.
And last but not least, make a fun showstopper that everyone will gobble up for Thanksgiving! Follow the step-by-step tips and photos below:
- Grab 1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese, reserving one tablespoonful in a resealable bag. (You’ll just need that little dab for your turkey “eyes” and “beak” later!) Combine the remaining block of cream cheese with 1 packet Cheesy Pizza Warm Dip Mix and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Shape into a ball for your turkey body; chill 2 hours.
- For the “feathers,” insert crackers in 2-3 rows along the back of the cheese ball. (I used heart-shaped Town House® Flip Sides Pretzel Thins, which worked perfectly!)
- Cut 5-6 slices of pepperoni in half, and insert the pepperoni pieces in rows. Break 3 thin breadsticks in half, and insert them in the back of the cheese ball for “tail feathers.” Like this:
- Now cut 2 thin slices of red bell pepper. Carefully insert one for the head, like so:
Place the other pepper slice below it to look like the turkey’s “wattle.” To create the face, cut a small triangle of American cheese for the beak, and cut out two little dots of black olives for the eyes. Adhere them to the red pepper with dabs of your reserved cream cheese. And ta-da … you’ll have this handsome fellow!
- Serve with crackers, pita chips, carrot sticks and cucumber slices for a fun and festive appetizer.
Happy Thanksgiving, and happy holidays, my friends!