Monday, December 19

Fran's Holiday Cheese Ball Recipe

Cranberry coated Cheese Ball
We've purchased or made from scratch and tried many different types of cheese balls.  A cheese ball is nothing more than a mixture of cheeses, maybe chopped veggies and a few spices rolled into a ball and served as a dip with crackers.

It's an appetizer that has been in and out of popularity many times but still seems to hang in there.  Even though a cheese ball may be considered sort of retro by some, it's one appetizer you can be sure of.  And there's an entire book devoted to it.  The book, Great Balls of Cheese by Michelle Buffardi has more than 50 savory and sweet cheese ball recipes!

This cheese ball recipe is our favorite and was created by my sister Frances. It has great flavor and can be easily changed to make many different cheese balls.

My sister Fran is a wonderful cook and I have been lucky enough to acquire a few of her recipes. She even wins numerous first place awards and ribbons (plus second and thirds) every year for her desserts at the Ohio State Fair!
Here are a few ways we have slightly altered this recipe in the past.

Cheese Ball Variations:
  • Reduce the amount of the mustard and horseradish
  • Double the shredded cheese amount
  • Use diced green onions in place of sweet onion
  • Use diced red onion and shredded Swiss cheese for a unique and wonderful flavor
  • Do not add the diced beef into the cheese ball mixture
  • Use various coverings in place of beef such as cranberries, nuts or just shredded cheese. 

Snowman cheeseball: Coat cheese ball with white cheese, add peppercorn eyes & mouth and a carrot nose

Cheese Ball Shapes:
Shape the cheese ball to fit the holiday or occasion. Be creative!
Examples:  Christmas tree, snowman, skull, pumpkin, football, Easter egg!

We serve this cheese ball at parties throughout the year but seem to like it best around Halloween,  Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Fran's Holiday Cheese Ball

2 - 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
2  - 2.5-ounce packages of Budig dried thinly sliced beef
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese)

Dried beef coated Cheese Ball

Allow cream cheese to soften at room temperature.
Chop the dried beef into small pieces and set aside. Dice the onion.
In a large bowl cream the cream cheese.  Add all the remaining ingredients, but add only about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the diced beef.

Delicious but didn't get beef diced as small as I usually like it

Form mixture into a ball.  Spread the remaining diced beef onto a plate or wax paper on the counter.
Roll the cheese ball over the beef, making sure to cover the outside of the cheese ball completely.
Chill the cheese ball in the refrigerator at least an hour before serving.
Place cheese ball on a festive plate or dish and serve with crackers.

Skull Cheese Ball:  Take pics before setting out or this is what happens!


My sis Fran & I at our Fall Party
We've had a mixture of snow, rain, and sleet in the last few days here in Ohio and last week even had about 5 inches of snow on the ground!  
Fingers crossed, I'm hoping for a white Christmas! 


Other Posts:

Cheesy Bacon Dip

Elizabeth's Breakfast Casserole

Grandma Coy's Chocolate Caramel Bars


jLeelr said...

Dear Elizabeth,
What a wonderful array of cheese-balls.
They look fancy, but with your instructions and photos,
even the "reluctant Cook" is armed for the holidays.
Thank you again,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! Saves me from finding the copy I got from Frannie a couple years ago....Going to make one for a holiday party. Merry Christmas and Blessed Yuletide!
Sis Beverly

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks, Jennie. We always have fun coming up with ways to incorporate the cheeseball into a party's theme! Elizabeth

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Merry Christmas Beverly!