Fruit Shaped Cheeseballs The Tamara Blog

Come on… who doesn’t love a cheese ball? They’re fun to eat, and easy to make. Being a bit of a cheeseball myself, I have a particular affinity for these orbs o’ dairy.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “Cheese balls in Autumn?! Heaven forfend! Everyone knows National Cheese Ball day is April 17th. What kind of celebration enthusiast are you, Tamara?”

In truth, I have no idea why cheese ball day is in April. Makes no sense. These lactose spheres are perfect for football parties, I mean… in my family, we call October the beginning of cheese ball season! So, if you’re going to eat ’em in autumn, why not serve ’em in fall-fruit form?

Here I offer a simple and delicious way to ‘fancy up’ a cheesy classic. 

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Apple Cheese Ball

  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (must be finely grated)
  • 1 Tbs. apple brandy
  • 1 Tbs. apple jelly or apple butter
  • 2 cups fried onions
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • branch and leaves for garnish

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Pear Cheese Ball

  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 5 oz. crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbs. pear jam or jelly
  • 1 Tbs. pear brandy
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • yellow food coloring
  • branch and leaves for garnish

Ingredients note:

You can use flavored liquors instead of brandy — it’s just that the brandy has a richer, fuller flavor than a liquor.

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Process:

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and cheddar or gorgonzola cheese. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer until fluffy.

Add in jam and brandy, and beat until combined.

Place mixture in refrigerator while working on next step.

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For Apple cheese ball:

Place fried onions in a ziplock bag and crush finely.

Add smoked paprika, and toss/knead to combine.

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For Pear cheese ball:

Toast walnuts/pecans in a dry frying pan over medium heat, or in the broiler, until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop nuts finely (you can use a food processor for this step). Add 8 to 12 drops of yellow food coloring, if desired.

Place mixed coating in a small bowl.

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Remove cheese mixture from the refrigerator and shape into desired form with your hands. Cheese mixture can also be placed in plastic wrap and molded, to keep hands clean.

Once a rough apple or pear form is achieved, drop cheese ball into bowl with coating, and press coating into the surface, refining fruit shape as you go.

After cheese ball is formed, add decorative leaves, and display.

Apple and Pear Shaped Cheese Balls printable recipe

These can be refrigerated for 2 days, or frozen for up to a month. Be sure to allow time to thaw before serving. No one wants a tooth chipped by chilled cheddar.

Enjoy these glorious globes of cheese, an homage to the fromage in you!

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I must say, this is one of the most delicious snacks ever. Salty and sweet, easy to make, it’s perfect for a party favor. It can be a little fancy but at the same time, familiar and homey. You can use any type of chocolate (milk, semi-sweet, etc.), and if you use white chocolate you can alter the color to fit the occasion. Make it in big batches for a crowd, (think football party) or small ones for movie-night.

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You’ll Need:

Popcorn

Salt

Oil

White Chocolate (colored if you like)

Bags

Twine

Stickers

Let’s talk popcorn and quantities (there is a chart at the bottom of this post with measurement calculations). My target was 50 party favors. I figured that we needed 3 to 4 cups per person/favor. That meant 200 cups popped corn (!). I calculated that 1/3 C un-popped corn yields 8 C popped. So for my favors, we needed to pop 8 to 9 cups of corn. (Turns out that the bags looked better with 3 C popcorn inside, so … leftovers! More for ME!)

When I pop corn at home, I always measure by eye. I pour oil into my pan until it just covers the bottom of the pan. Add corn until the bottom is covered without any corn-overlap. (A good rule of thumb is, use half as much oil as popcorn. So for 2/3 C corn, use 1/3 C oil.) Turn the pan on medium-high, cover and wait for it to pop. As the kernels pop, give the pan a shake now and then. When you hear the kernel pops slow down, remove from heat and pour into mixing vessel. Don’t wait until you don’t hear ANY kernels popping… you’ll scorch the finished corn.

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Chocolate. For this recipe, I prefer white chocolate, but milk or dark is tasty too. I wanted the finished product to be delicious sweet-salty corn, not like a candy with popcorn in it, so the chocolate was used sparingly. In the end, for my 200 cups of corn, I used about 1-1/2 pounds of chocolate.

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Pour your popcorn into a (very clean!) large mixing vessel. Add salt as desired. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Drizzle onto popped corn and mix. If you have a helper, this job goes much more quickly! Taste, adjust chocolate and salt if needed.

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Using a scoop, fill the bags with corn, tie closed (with divine twine!) and add labels. I added the classic pink bubble-gum cigar to the bag.

Update: Looks like the supplier who carried my bags no longer does… try Nashville Wraps for some really cute bags, at good prices.

NOTE: This popcorn favor should be made no more than one day in advance. If it’s made earlier than that, it becomes a bit soggy.

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Supply Calculation Table:

1/3 C un-popped corn = 8 C popped = 2 to 3 party favors

1 C un-popped corn = 24 C popped = 7 to 9 party favors

½ oz. chocolate per party favor. Test this – your desired taste may vary. (2 oz. = 1/4 C)

Some SUPER CUTE labels are available here. (Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of Whisker Graphics, but also a relative!)

Enjoy!