I have been seeing these adorable cheese balls all over the internet for awhile now. Every year, I say I am going to attempt at least one Christmas Tree Cheese Ball, but then I forget. This year I tackled it, and guess what? Not only do I love it but every time I have served one people are wowed! Trust me, I not much of a crafty person and was pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe is from mixing to shaping the trees.
Evidently, there is a book out there that not only shares great cheese ball recipes but they also show you how to make them. Since I did not have time to get the book, I had to wing it. I have been making a few different cheese balls as well as cheese logs for the past couple of holidays so I felt confident I should be able to hand this recipe.
We had some friends with kids over for dinner, I wanted this Christmas Tree Cheese Ball be cute as well kid-friendly with regards to ingredients so I kept the recipe fairly basic.
I used cheddar cheese as the main cheese. To make the texture more creamy, I added some of my beloved homemade mascarpone that I had tucked away. Don’t worry you can use store-bought mascarpone, and it will be just as good. Fresh herbs are really what make this cheese ball, and you can be as creative as you like. I kept the seasonings mild and used sage which pairs great with cheddar, and thyme because I like how bright it is. Parsley is the forgotten herb that is crisp and vibrant, as well it makes the tree so bright and festive.
This whimsical appetizer will be a lovely surprise at your holiday meal not only with the littles but also the adults.
Recipe: Christmas Tree Cheese Ball
** makes two medium-sized trees or three smaller ones
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces mascarpone store-bought or homemade
5 ounces Kerrygold white cheddar, grated
large handfuls of Italian parsley, sage, and thyme, washed and dried well
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
pomegranate seeds for garnish
lemon peel to make a star for garnish
Place the cream cheese and mascarpone into a food processor. Whirl together until well mixed.
Add the cheddar cheese, process until mixed.
Scoop into a medium-sized mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Finely chop the mixed herbs.
Remove from the refrigerator and shape into trees. Sort of egg-shaped with a pointed top.
Evenly cover the cheese tree with herbs. Place pomegranate seeds on the tree as ornaments.
Return the cheese trees to the refrigerator until 30 minutes before serving.
Before serving add a lemon peel star.