Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pinecone Cheeseball

I offered to bring an appetizer to our family's Thanksgiving day celebration again this year. It's purely selfish. I love the idea of Thanksgiving but end up eating mostly snacks, sweets, and wine because it turns out I don't really care for the turkey meal itself. So I wanted an extra fancy appetizer to look forward to.

Last year I brought a super cute apple salsa with cinnamon chips. This year, I'm going straight up traditional cheeseball! But to make it appropriate for the seasonal occasion, I'm stealing the idea for how to present it from my co-worker. You certainly can make this same recipe in a round ball shape and just roll in crushed nuts.

Or you can spend a few extra minutes to make it a pinecone.

Seriously. This is too fricking adorable, I'm afraid to even cut into it! Won't it look awesome on our Thanksgiving pre-dinner snacking table?

Pinecone Cheeseball
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 garlic clove, grated on microplane
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 cup sliced almonds (you could use whole ones or pecans too - it's easier!)
fresh rosemary

Mix all ingredients together well in a big bowl. Carefully shape into one large or two small teardrops on a serving platter. Refrigerate.

Toast your almonds on a sheet pan for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until they just start to turn golden brown. Remove cheese teardrop from fridge and begin studding with almonds.

Start at the pointy tip of your pinecone and insert almonds parallel to the platter. Cover the whole pinecone in almonds, by the time you get to the large end, they'll be standing straight up and down. Garnish with rosemary to look like a twig from a pine tree.

Serve with crackers, bread, or raw veggies. And plenty of wine!

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