Pinecone Cheese Balls

How cute are these festive holiday cheese balls? A delicious cheese mixture, made fancy with candied pecans. Serve with favorite crackers and enjoy!

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Pinecone Cheese Balls

Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Gluten Free, Holiday Entertaining
Author: Denise

Ingredients

  • 8 oz mascarpone room temperature can substitute block of cream cheese
  • 5-6 oz container soft herbed cheese either Boursin or Alouette
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs chives thyme, dill and rosemary are great options
  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 cup whole candied pecans I love Trader Joe’s candied pecans or their sweet & salty pecans

To Serve:

  • Crackers
  • Fresh rosemary and cranberries sugared, if desired

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Mix until smooth.
  • Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter.  Pile mixture into center of plastic wrap.  Pull plastic wrap around mix tightly to form a ball.  Ensure all edges are sealed shut and place in freezer for at least 20 minutes.  Can also be made ahead and frozen for a day or two, just allow a bit more time to thaw before serving.
  • When ready to prepare dip, unwrap from plastic wrap and turn onto final serving plate. Using plastic wrap on top of the mixture, shape into a teardrop. Mixture will need to be chilled but not frozen (you want it slightly malleable) before shaping.
  • About 10 minutes before you plan to serve, start to press pecans into mixture. Start at the top and gently overlap to make a layer. Try to only use full pecans for consistency. Broken pieces or halves can be used along edges.
  • Decorate with rosemary and cranberries. Serve with crackers. If desired, check out our recipe for sugared cranberries and rosemary.
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