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  • Pinecone Cheese Ball
  • Pinecone Cheese Ball
  • Pinecone Cheese Ball
  • Pinecone Cheese Ball
  • Pinecone Cheese Ball

Pinecone Cheese Ball

Food | November 15, 2017 | Nik Manojlovich
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This tasty treat will be popular with your guests, with a pleasing flavour that’s only matched by its whimsical presentation. Serve up a PINECONE CHEESE BALL for the holidays!

I included this in my lineup of holiday party recipes for my classes at Christmas in November, and judging by the positive feedback, I’d say it’s a winner. I love the flavour but also the slightly retro vibe of a classic cheese ball decorated to look like a pinecone.

Consider this when you make it for your next get-together, special occasion or holiday gathering.

CHEESES – You’ll need a combination not only of hard and soft cheeses but also include those with a sharp flavour. Soft cheese options include cream, goat’s, farmer’s and brie. Hard cheese options might include cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago and Manchego. Some sharp-flavoured cheeses are Red Leicester, Saint Agur, Cambozola and Stilton. I bet you’ll discover favourite combinations the more you make it.

TIME & TEMPERATURE – I like making this cheeseball a day or two before serving to give the flavours time to mature. I also remove it from the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before the party so it’s nice and soft when guests go to dig in.

PINECONE – The idea for the pinecone shape came to me many years ago, and guests always enjoy my nod to winter festivities. Cutting the toasted almonds in half to decorate is a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort.

SERVICE – Serve the PINECONE CHEESE BALL with nothing more than an assortment of your favourite crackers, toasted bread or breadsticks. Presenting this cheesy wonder alongside crudités and charcuterie also works, as guests will pick away and nibble to their hearts’ content.

The perfect way to encourage your guests to party on – a PINECONE CHEESE BALL is always a welcome party treat!

Ingredients & Amounts

  • For the cheeseball:
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8oz.), room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup of aged Canadian cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • ¼ cup of creamy cheese (Saint Agur or Cambozola), room temperature
  • ¼ cup of scallions, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup of cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • For the coating:
  • 1 cup of toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • ½ cup of cooked bacon, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • To decorate:
  • 1 cup of toasted almonds
  • pieces of chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Toast almonds and divide into two. Take the first half and finely chop. Reserve. Using a pairing knife, split the remaining almonds in half. Reserve.
  2. Create coating: Combine chopped almonds, chopped bacon and parsley in a bowl and reserve.
  3. Create cheeseball: Place cream cheese and butter in a medium-sized bowl and beat with hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the almonds, bacon and the parsley. Stir everything together until well combined.
  4. Form 2/3 of the mixture into a ball or disc shape and coat the outside with the nut/bacon/parsley mixture - this will be the base of your pinecone. Transfer to a service plate. Take the remaining cheese mixture, form into an egg shape. Flatten it down a bit on one side and roll in the coating mixture. Place onto the first cheese shape and insert almond halves in a radiating pattern to resemble the scales of a pinecone. Place a few pieces of chives in at the base of the cone to resemble pine needles. Serve with simple crackers.

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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.

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