Mini Cheese Balls
- 1 stalk celery
- 18 slices Pepperoni
- 1-1/2 pkg. 8 oz. each Cream Cheese (12 oz.), softened
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Real Bacon Bits
- 1-1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 18 oval buttery crackers
Cut celery into 4 lengthwise strips, then cut strips into 36 (1-inch-long) pieces. Discard any remaining celery pieces.
Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut 2 small hearts out of each pepperoni slice; reserve for later use. Finely chop pepperoni trimmings.
Mix cream cheese, onions, bacon, and chopped pepperoni until blended. Roll into 18 balls, using about 1 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture for each ball.
Place mozzarella in pie plate. Roll cheese balls, 1 at a time, in mozzarella until cheese ball is evenly coated with mozzarella.
Place 1 cheese ball on each cracker. Add 2 pepperoni hearts to each for the lovebug’s eyes and 2 celery sticks for the antennae.
Refrigerate 30 min.
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1 8-ounce package cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Stone House Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Ranch Seasoning
- 3 medium green onions sliced
- 3-5 slices cooked bacon crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Mix together the softened cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well combined. Stir in the Stone House and Ranch seasonings until well combined.
Add green onions and cooked bacon and stir until well combined. Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, form the cheese ball mixture into a ball and then wrap tightly with the plastic wrap. Place into the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
Once chilled, remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and roll in the chopped pecans, making sure to press the chopped pecans into the cheese ball to secure. Place onto a serving platter with your favorite crackers and a knife for serving
Cream Cheese Ball
- 2 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese — at room temperature
- 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 –10 dashes hot sauce — such as Tabasco I like this little hotter, so we go closer to 10, but if you’d like a sweeter cheese ball, stick to the lower end
- 1 cup freshly shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Crackers or baguette slices
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and preserves until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the garlic powder, salt, and hot sauce, and then the cheddar cheese.
Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Scrape the cheese mixture into the center in as circle-like of a mound as you can. It will not be a perfect ball at this point. Wrap the edges of the plastic around it to seal and encourage it to form a round ball. Place the wrapped cream cheese in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the pecans onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they are deeply toasted and fragrant. Watch very carefully toward the end of the baking time to ensure the pecans do not burn. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small bits. Let cool completely to room temperature.
When ready to serve, remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator. Place the chopped pecans on a plate. (I find it’s easiest to use a plate with edges that curve up a little. A pie dish works well too.) Add the parsley and lightly mix with your fingers to combine. Unwrap the cheese ball and place it on the plate with the parsley and pecans, coating well. The cheese ball won’t roll like a true ball. Gently lift and turn it, patting the pecans and parsley all over the outside. Carefully lift it onto a serving plate. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.