Cheeseballs can be boring, but with a little imagination you can turn it into a festive holiday appy. Some pecans and fresh rosemary sprigs are all you need!
Along with the cream cheese (or Boursin), if you don’t like goat cheese, replace it with any other grated hard cheese you like. In addition to any dried herbs you like, add in some finely chopped fresh ones if you have any on hand.
Whenever I buy fresh chives I never seem to be able to use them up before they turn mushy and soggy. So now whatever I don’t use up right away, I freeze! I don’t do anything special with them – just keep them in their little plastic container and pop in the freezer until you need them.
Once all the cheeses and herbs are mixed together, place it all onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap it up. Use your hands and shape it into a pinecone shape – remember you’ll be covering it with pecans, so make the sides thick enough that it will be able to accommodate 2 rows of pecans.
Then start pressing the pecans into the cheese, starting at the tip and working up. Finish it off by pushing a sprig of fresh rosemary in the top. Using the sweeter candied pecans goes great with the tart and tangy goat cheese, but feel free to use plain pecans – especially if you replace the goat cheese with another hard cheese and add your own flavorings.
- 1/2 cup cream cheese or Boursin
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 2 tsp dried herbs of choice
- Sprig of fresh rosemary
- Plain or Candied Pecans
- Combine cheeses and dried herbs until smooth.
- Spoon onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap up. Use your hands to shape into a pinecone and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Starting at tip of pinecone, press pecans into cheese, overlapping slightly if you can. Push the rosemary spring into the top to serve as the 'branch'.
Greek: replace goat cheese with crumbled feta, add 1/4 cup finely chopped marinated artichoke hearts, 1/2 lemon zested, 2 tsp fresh dill (use plain pecans)
Smoky: replace goat cheese with equal amount of grated smoked gouda, 1/2 tsp paprika (use plain pecans)
Tangy & Sweet: keep goat cheese or replace with GF blue cheese, 1-2 Tbsp fig spread (use plain or candied pecans)