I got the inspiration for these when I was scrolling through Pinterest one day, and thought the idea would be perfect for the Super Bowl. To be honest, I barely glanced at the recipe because I could tell right away it would have to be completely revamped for my purposes. Theirs were sweet, I wanted savory. Theirs were rolled in nuts, but Hubby is allergic to nuts. And theirs were fairly large balls of cheese on the ends of tiny little pretzel sticks. Blech. So basically, I just used the words “mini cheese ball” and started from square one.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ½ cup extra sharp cheddar, freshly grated
In addition to that, you’ll need something to serve as your edible stick. Since I like my cheese balls with crackers, I chose these mini club crackers.
Put your softened cream cheese into a mixing bowl.
Mix until it nice and smooth and creamy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the salt and pepper, and mix some more.
Add the chives and cheese.
Stir until everything is evenly distributed. Put the cheese mixture into a container with a lid and into the fridge for a couple hours, or overnight.
When the cheese mixture is nice and firm, you can start on the bacon. Spread the slices on a foil lined sheet pan. Place the pan into a cold oven, then turn the temperature to about 300°.
The time it takes for the bacon to cook really depends on how thick the slices are. Usually something like 20-30 minutes for mine. You’ll want to flip the slices after the first 15 minutes. When the bacon is nice and crispy, move it to some paper towels to drain. When it has cooled completely, stack a few of the slices on a cutting board.
Then chop it finely.
Move the bacon crumbles to a smallish bowl.
With my first batch, I sort of followed the idea I had seen online. I rolled the cheese mixture into what looked like bite sized balls, rolled those in the bacon, and pushed in a cracker. Cute, yes?
Then Hubby and I tasted them. Wow that’s a lot of cheese for one bite. Do you ever wonder if people actually taste the food they post online? Well, I always do. Not only was it too much cheese, but because the bacon got in the way when pushing in the crackers, the balls fell off easily. And trust me, you don't want your balls to fall off. Ok, back to the drawing board. Take a small amount of the cheese mixture, like a teaspoon, and shape it into something sort of log shaped. Then push the end of a cracker into it and it should attach itself nicely.
Now press that in the bacon crumbles. As you place each one onto your serving plate, press down gently to give them a flat bottom so they don’t fall over.
Ah, now that is what a mini cheese ball should be. A single bite of cheesy deliciousness balanced perfectly by the cracker it comes on. Serve them with a little bowl of extra crackers, just in case people want them. And if you want a little something sweet, these little chocolate footballs would be the perfect addition.
What do you like most about Super Bowl Sunday? The food, the commercials, or the actual game?