If you volunteered to bring the cheese ball to the holiday potluck or family gathering this year, you’ll probably expect it to fade into the background behind all the other beautiful and exciting dishes on the table. This year, make your traditional “dairy sphere” into a gorgeous centerpiece by taking it out of the round and making it a piece of art.
Using the basic recipe below, mold your ingredients into the shape of a Christmas tree. Once you’ve decked it out with olives, cranberries and rosemary sprigs, it will be so pretty, you probably won’t want to eat it. Some crackers and tiny cheese balls will look lovely surrounding your festive cheese tree. The smaller balls will help keep the tree intact until all the guests have arrived and had time to marvel at your holiday magic. They also give guests a way to easily get a portion onto their plates.
- 4 cups cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cup bell peppers, diced
- ¼ cup chives,finely chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
In a bowl, combine the ingredients. Place plastic wrap on your work surface, transfer the mixture to the plastic wrap and cover, molding into a tree shape. Set on a plate and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Decorate with halved olives (pat dry first), cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle pecan dust over the top. Finish with a star cut out of yellow pepper or cheese to top the tree.
In a rush and can’t dedicate the kitchen time? Let The Local Grocer custom-make it for you.
Photography by Kayce McClure