Cheese Balls Three Ways | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Is it New Year’s Eve yet? Because I made these cheese balls during a mild case of the sads-after-Christmas and I may or may not have eaten my way through half of each before the holiday for which they are appointed ← that’d be New Year’s Eve, FYI. Christmas was for cookies (ALL. THE. COOKIES).

Oy. I mean really, can we back up a bit and discuss how many dang cookies I ate this past week? Um, let’s not actually. You would be appalled/impressed.

Anywho, cheese balls. I don’t know why and/or how this cheese-loving girl has gone all her life without having made one from scratch. Yeah haiiii I’m the one who’s been eating those store-bought cheese balls all these years. Hiding my head in shame as I swipe another cracker into one of these HOMEMADE cheese balls.

Cheese Balls Three Ways | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

And by homemade, I mean I shaped some stuff into a ball and called it an appetizer. EASY/YUMMY/INSTANT APPETIZER TIMES.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheese Ball | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

Oh yes, that cheese ball right there tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough. Clearly I cannot stop with the cookies.

I hope you all had wonderful Christmases. Ours certainly was — we spent the week before Christmas with my family in the Chicago suburbs eating, drinking, playing games, eating, relaxing, visiting with friends, eating and opening presents. Also eating. And on actual Christmas, we spent the afternoon with Elliott’s family opening more presents and guess what else? Eating.

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Christmas morning, however, was extra-special because it was just the three of us and our own mini family unit Christmas gathering time. We ate cheesy omelets and crispy bacon and listened to Christmas music and opened presents while Avery tossed around scraps of wrapping paper and ribbons. It was perfect.

Goat Cheese-Scallion Cheese Ball | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

And then suddenly, it was all over. And that’s when I decided it was time to make cheese balls.

Bacon, Cheddar and Horseradish Cheese Ball | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

These appetizers weren’t entirely random/out of the blue. It’s become a bit of a tradition for Elliott and me to make and eat a bunch of appetizers on New Year’s Eve, pile on the cozy blankets and PJs and slippers and sit on the couch until 10 p.m. when we both pass out. This isn’t too different from our normal routine, actually, except for the appetizers. It’s not like we eat cheese balls every day, ya know.

Cheese Balls Three Ways | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

I decided to go for two savory options and one dessert-ish option (to appease both the sweet and salty tooths in this household): Goat cheese-scallion and bacon-cheddar-horseradish, and then chocolate chip cookie. All three are spectacular (which I know on account of all the aforementioned pre-New Year’s Eve cheese ball eating), but my fave is surprisingly the bacon-cheddar-horseradish one, which is a perfect blend of salty and tangy and spicy and cheesy and yum. Except the goat cheese-scallion one is really good too, with its creamy, onion-y flavor. Butbutbut the chocolate chip cookie one tastes like a dream — a cookie dough ball dream.

Cheese Balls Three Ways | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

So yeahhhhh, none of these really stand a chance of making it to Wednesday.

Cheese Balls Three Ways
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 3 cheese balls
 
Ingredients
For the chocolate chip cookie cheese ball:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans (toasted, if desired)
  • Graham crackers and sliced apples, for serving
For the goat cheese-scallion cheese ball:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Crackers and sliced vegetables, for serving
For the bacon, cheddar and horseradish cheese ball:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, cooled and crumbled
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimientos
  • Crackers and sliced vegetables, for serving
Directions
For the chocolate chip cookie cheese ball:
  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in sugars. Stir in chocolate chips. Use wet hands to shape mixture into a ball and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours to set. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in chopped pecans. Serve with graham crackers, sliced apples, etc.
For the goat cheese-scallion cheese ball:
  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients except parsley just until combined. Use wet hands to shape mixture into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours to set. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in chopped parsley. Serve with crackers, sliced vegetables, etc.
For the bacon, cheddar and horseradish cheese ball:
  1. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients except bacon, walnuts and pimientos just until combined. Use wet hands to shape mixture into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours to set. Just before serving, in a small bowl combine bacon, walnuts and pimientos. Roll cheese ball in bacon-walnut-pimiento mixture. Serve with crackers, sliced vegetables, etc.
NOTE: All cheese balls can be refrigerated up to 3 to 4 days or frozen up to 1 month. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving (if refrigerated; longer if frozen).
 

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