Pine Cone Cheese Ball

If you really want to impress people, make these pine cone cheese balls! They are super easy to make, but look fancy schmancy! Plus, there’s bacon in it, and bacon makes everything better.



INGREDIENTS

2 (8 oz) dairy-free cream cheese (I use @kitehillfoods)

1/4 cup dairy-free Greek yogurt (I use @kitehillfoods)

1 (8 oz) package nitrate-free no sugar added bacon (I use @applegate)

2 Tbsp green onions, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 Tbsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup cheddar, shredded off the block

1/2 cup monterrey jack, shredded off the block

1 cup whole unsalted pecans

1 cup whole unsalted almonds

Gluten-free crackers, for serving (I use @simplemills sea salt)

Optional Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs, fresh cranberries


HOW TO MAKE:

-Cook bacon to crispy, and break it into small pieces.

-In a small skillet over medium-high heat, lightly cover the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Place almonds in skillet, and toast for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

-Once they become fragrant, remove from heat, and set aside.

-In the same skillet, add in pecans. Toast for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

-Once they become fragrant, remove from heat, and set aside.

-In a large mixing bowl, add bacon, cream cheese, yogurt, green onions, chives, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, sea salt, pepper, and paprika.

-Mix until well combined.

-Add in cheddar and monterrey jack. Mix until fully incorporated.

-Separate cheese mixture into two even parts.

-Using your hands, shape one part into an oval, with one end slightly pointed (should resemble a pine cone.)

-Place on a serving dish.

-Repeat last two steps for second part of cheese mixture.

-Place nuts into each cheese ball slightly angled in horizontal rows.

-Add garnishes.

-Serve immediately with crackers, or keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.



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