A Holiday Favorite: The Cheese Ball

Sure, it has a bad rap, but a couple updates can make all the difference when it comes to cheese balls. This classic may become a favorite as you entertain throughout the season.

As an appetizer, the cheese ball has historically been a high-risk option that guarantees comments—and not always the good kind. That’s understandable. Thoughtlessly served as a nut-covered orb of orange cheese plopped on a platter and ringed by Ritz crackers, it begs belittling. But, if prepared with a little -panache, cheese balls make delicious additions to any celebration.


Lemon Cheesecake Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar (superfine is great)

Zest of one large lemon

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

Coating: 3/4 cup crushed fresh gingersnaps

Serve with thin Moravian-style gingersnaps.






In a food processor, blend softened cheeses and flavorings for each cheese ball. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover and put in the refrigerator to firm up. When it’s about the consistency of clay, mold the cheese into a sphere and roll it in the coating. You may have to pat the coating onto the ball. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

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