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Cheesy Cheeseballs

Everyone loves diving into a cheeseball

Cheeseballs are a great party attraction at any time of year. They can be dressed up or down for holidays or simple-to-elegant gatherings. Recipes abound for cheeseballs; some are basic while others are more complicated.

Here are two favorite cheeseball variations - give them a try.

Note there are two ways to prepare cheese "balls."
-1 - Use your hands to form a typical ball. Roll the ball in crushed pecans or any favorite nut.
-2 - Use a small bowl with a round bottom and compact the cheese in to form a half-ball shape. Chill and turn out on a flat surface and crust with nuts. These are easier to cut into.

Cheeseballs #1

6 ounces blue cheese spread
2 packages (8 oz. each), neufchatel cheese, softened at room temperature
2 jars (5 oz. each) Old English Cheddar
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup crushed pecans (1/2 folded in; ½ for topping)

Combine blue cheese spread, neufchatel, Cheddar spread, onion powder, Worcestershire, jalapeno, and one-half cup crushed pecans. Mix thoroughly. If making a true ball, form with hands and roll in remaining crushed nuts. Chill until about one hour before serving and let come to room temperature.

Cheeseballs #2

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 package ranch dressing mix (milk version)
16 ounces grated Cheddar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup crushed pecans (half for mixing in and half for coating)

Combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, Cheddar, chili powder, and half the pecans. (Mixing in pecans is optional - especially for guests who don't like nuts - they can scrape off the top.) Shape into preferred form and crust with the nuts. Keep refrigerated, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.


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