Pecan Cheese Balls
Source of Recipe
From "Martha's American Food" by Martha Stewart
"Cheese balls are alive and well in the Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin, the dairy capital, but you need not be Midwestern to understand their widespread appeal. There's simply no substitute for a cheese ball at a holiday open house or a cocktail party—not a store-bought version, but one put together from scratch, with sharp cheddar, tangy cream cheese, a few seasonings such as mustard and Worcestershire sauce, and a coating of chopped toasted nuts. This recipe makes enough for two generously sized cheese balls, but you can easily halve the ingredients to make just one."
List of Ingredients
◦ 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
◦ 8 ounces sharp cheddar, finely grated (2 ½ cups)
◦ 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
◦ 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
◦ Pinch of freshly ground pepper
◦ 1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (about 5 ounces)
◦ Assorted crackers, for serving
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, cheddar, mustard, Worcestershire, and pepper until well combined. Mix in ¼ cup chopped pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
Divide the cheese mixture in half and shape each portion into a ball. Spread remaining ¾ cup chopped pecans on a plate and roll cheese balls in pecans to coat completely, pressing nuts to adhere.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 2 hours, with crackers.
Serves 12 to 16
❧ Cheddar and Cranberry:
With an electric mixer, beat ⅓ stick softened butter, 1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 to 2 dashes hot-pepper sauce, ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt, and a pinch of freshly ground pepper until combined. Stir in 8 ounces finely shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons store-bought cranberry chutney, then form mixture into a ball. Chill as directed in above recipe. Roll in ¾ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped.
❧ Roquefort and Walnut:
With an electric mixer, beat ⅓ stick softened butter, 1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 to 2 dashes hot-pepper sauce, ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt, and a pinch of freshly ground pepper until combined. Stir in 6 ounces Roquefort cheese and 1 minced shallot, then form mixture into a ball. Chill as directed in above recipe. Roll cheese ball in 1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped.