Updated: Feb 25
They come in all shapes and sizes, AND nationalities. Around the cheese ball at a party is where the action is and I've been making them for at least ten years. Everything from Christmas trees to angels to heart shapes—heck, even Casper the Friendly Cheese Ball. Cream cheese & scallions are all you need to get started! To see some of the cheesiest I've made, scroll below!
DECEMBER 2021 UPDATE:
My Rudolph the Red-Bowed Cheeseball Wreath recipe
is now included further down in this exciting cheeseball feature!
"But do you recall, the most famous cheeseball of all?!"
I've made lots of Christmas cheeseballs. This was my "Cheese Ball We Have Heard on High."
In Ex-cheesis Deo! (*groan*, sorry.)
There are rainbow cheese balls in summer.
For my annual Christmas open house, I've done an Internationally-themed Christmas tree-shaped "ball" for the past years. I even name them. Call me crazy . . . "ok you're crazy!"
2012 Fabiola, the Fiesta Cheese Christmas Tree MEXICO
2013 Giovanna, the Asiago Cheese Christmas Tree ITALY
2014 Chantal, the Chèvre Cheese Christmas Tree FRANCE
2015 Bruno, the Bavarian Cheese Christmas Tree GERMANY
2016 Pooja, the Paneer Cheese Christmas Tree INDIA
2017 Camilla, the Cheddar Cheese Christmas Tree UK
2018 Beatrix, the Royal Dutch Gouda Cheese Christmas Tree HOLLAND
Look, it's Pooja the Paneer tree!
This is Queen Beatrix, the Royal Dutch Gouda Cheese tree from Holland. I make the flags myself too. This tree’s ceremonial flags are the standard flag of the Netherlands with the orange pennant since Beatrix is a royal cheese tree. This year the open house party truly was a "Beatrix-mas."
Bruno the Bavarian!
And of course, here's Camilla, all dressed up and ready for a spot of tea . . . I held an online poll to name this one — it was between Duchess Kate's daughter Charlotte, and Camilla. The latter strong-armed her way into the lead with hardly any effort. Poor little Charlotte never knew what hit her . . .
The Christmas tree cheese balls are made using a sawed-off wooden paper towel holder covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil as the core, then I build the cheese mixture up into the tree shape on that, spread that with green-tinted whipped cream cheese, pat a ton of chopped parsley into the sides, then add the many-colored grape tomato "ornaments" with toothpicks. This next photo is what I call step TWO, after you blend the cheese mixture together - this is the "naked" phase, in fridge, before the green cream cheese layer I just mentioned. I believe this was Beatrix. Sorry Beatrix, a bit undignified for a queen . . . the next day you appeared in all your finery.
For the ingredients, you can do almost anything. Any cheese that shreds nicely will work, with cream cheese as a foundation for firmness. I literally do it differently each time, sometimes I throw in bacon, always sliced scallions and a bit of hot sauce . . . For the specifics of one recipe, see the Cheesenstein link here, and towards the end of this article, which is always a helpful starting point.
I did a Hanukkah dreidl one year when the first night lined up with Christmas Eve, for the observant in our dinner party. We did not try to spin it before partaking.
My wedding cheese ball. 🎶 "Cheeeese, look at the two of us, strangers in many waays . . ."🎶
You saw my angel at the beginning. It's amusing to see before, during and after shots of these edible creations. The frequent final state I call "utter decimation." Good for taking out your aggressions if you're one of the more strung out guests at the party.
And now, as promised, here's my
Rudolph the Red-Bowed Cheeseball Wreath recipe!
Rudolph the Red-Bowed Cheeseball Wreath
Serves 50 to 75
You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen . . . but do you recall, the most famous cheeseball of all?! This eye-catching treat will add lots of pizzazz to your holiday table! Deck the halls with wreaths of cheese!
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
Generous dashes of your favorite hot sauce
Generous shakes of Worcestershire sauce
About 1/3 cup mayo
Bunch of scallions, green and white parts, sliced thin
8 ounces (or more) whipped cream cheese, dyed green (I prefer gel coloring to standard)
Large bunch curly parsley, de-stemmed, run through food processor
Multicolored (or red) grape tomatoes
Large, good-looking red bell pepper
With clean hands, in large bowl, combine all cheeses, hot sauce, Worcestershire, mayo, and scallions. On awesome vintage cake stand, platter, or holiday plate, form cheese wreath. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, uncovered is fine.
Next day, frost with green whipped cheese, pat on parsley, attach tomatoes and red bell pepper bow with toothpicks.
You can refrigerate again for an hour or so to get the whipped cheese to set up but be sure to let wreath sit out for an hour or two before the party so guests can slice wreath easily with cheese spreaders. Serve with crudités and crackers as desired.
RUDOLPH THE RED-BOWED CHEESEBALL WREATH,
YOU'LL GO DOWN IN HISTORY!
Now to come full cheeseball, er, circle, my inspiration for this new tradition all started back in 2009 when I decided to make this recipe from Taste of Home. The "Cheesenstein" cheese ball!
"And then there's Cheesenstein!" An indulgent guest, "Zom-Bea Arthur," poses with His Cheesiness.
This really HAS been a cheesy article.
If you miss this holiday season and can't wait for Halloween or Christmas next year, you'll be glad to note that April 17 is National Cheeseball Day. And in 2021 it's a Saturday! Paaaaaar-tay!
Q: What do you call cheese that isn't yours?
A: Nacho cheese!
And that's all, folks!