Bite-sized cheese balls make festive appetizer for holiday gatherings

Published 8:59 pm Saturday, November 19, 2022

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Thanksgiving is a food lover’s paradise. Even though the turkey and side dishes are the crowning achievements on Thanksgiving, hungry guests will need something to tide them over until the pièce de résistance is ready. In such situations, bite-sized appetizers that are tasty yet not too filling can fit the bill.

Charcuterie boards and tasting menus continue to be all the rage. In addition to a platter of fruit slices, figs, aged cheeses and crostini, treat guests to “Mini Cheese Ball Bites,” which offer various textures and flavors in bite-sized morsels. Enjoy this recipe, courtesy of “Spectacular Spreads: 50 Amazing Food Spreads for Any Occasion” (Rock Point) by Meagan Brown.

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

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Makes 12

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons drained, chopped pimentos

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon paprika

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 cup crushed pecans

1⁄4 cup chopped chives

12 pretzel sticks

In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, cheddar, pimentos, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the crushed pecans and chives in a small bowl. Set aside.

Roll the cheese mixture into twelve 1-inch balls. Evenly coat each ball with the pecan-chive mixture. Press a pretzel stick into the top of each cheese ball just before serving. Serve at room temperature or chilled.