If I were to pick a favorite food that my mom makes, it would have to be her Christmas cheese balls. Now I know that there are tons of cheese ball recipes out there but trust me – hers are the BEST! If you don’t believe me, ask my wife, ask my friends, siblings, anyone. She’s made these cheesy wonders every Christmas for as long as I can remember and I’ve been known to eat an entire spread if left unsupervised (not my finest moment...). I just finished making a batch on my own for the first time EVER and I'm so proud of myself! I checked with mom before writing this post to get her permission to share the recipe. I’ve posted it below and hope that at least one of you out there gives it a go! It’s super easy and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
What you’ll need to make 5 - 7 cheese balls:
* 5 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* 3 boxes of 1/3 reduced fat Philadelphia cream cheese (24 oz.)
* 1 ½ cups of green chile (add a small amount to start and more to taste)
* 1 large onion – the onion is crucial…if you don’t like onions this recipe is not for you ;o)
* 6 oz. medium hot chile powder
* 8 oz. pecan halves
* Garlic salt to taste (I say, the more garlic salt the better)
* 2 boxes of Ritz crackers
* Wax paper
Be sure to give your hands a good scrub because you’re going to be using them!
What to do:
Mix cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green chile, minced onions and garlic salt in a large bowl. Mix well and taste. If you think it could use more garlic salt and/or chile, feel free to add a bit more.
Chop pecans in to small pieces (I used a food processor for this - which I've pictured below). Lay out two sheets of wax paper. On the first sheet of wax paper sprinkle chile powder. On the second sheet sprinkle the chopped pecans.
Form mix in to 5 to 7 balls depending on size. Coat your cheese ball with red chile powder first, then roll the cheese ball through the chopped nuts. Gently pat each ball so the nuts stay put. Place your finished cheese balls on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 24 hours. You're free to eat your cheese balls right away...I just personally think they’re more flavorsome when they’ve marinated a bit..
These suckers are great as party gifts! I hope you enjoy!
As I previously mentioned and in the spirit of Oprah – here is one of my favorite things! I use this little chopper for everything :)