Appetizers, Christmas

Woodland Hedgehog Cheese Ball

One of my favorite appetizers at parties are cheese balls.  I’m a total cheese person, so the idea of a whole ball of cheese is like a dream come true!  😊  I love this recipe because it’s so cute, and it also has a wonderful onion flavor and creamy texture.  It keeps fantastically in the fridge for up to a week, and leftovers can even be frozen for later!

woodland hedgehog cheese ball with rosemary sprigs and pine cones

This cheese ball is perfect for church potlucks, open houses, Christmas parties with friends or colleagues.  It’s not spicy, so even kids love it.  Even Bookworm Beth 📚🐛, who doesn’t like cheese on by itself, likes the flavor of this cheese ball as long as a pecan is included with the cracker.  With only 35 minutes of prep time, plus some chilling time, it’s super easy to make ahead, and bring to your holiday get together.  👍

woodland hedgehog cheese ball with rosemary sprigs, frozen cranberries, and a bowl of crackers

Crackers aren’t the only thing you can serve with this cheese ball!  Try using toast instead, or just spread on bread for a special sandwich.  It’s even perfect by itself, so be warned that you just might get addicted, like I did when I was developing this recipe!  😉

I encourage you to make this delicious and super easy recipe for your next party or get-together.  It’s definitely a crowd pleaser!

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closeup of woodland hedgehog cheese ball with rosemary sprigs and a bowl of crackers

Woodland Hedgehog Cheese Ball


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 44 servings
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Mixer
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Woodland hedgehog cheese ball is a simple, savory appetizer that will be a stunning centerpiece at a woodland baby shower or first birthday.  Cream cheese, cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices make this vegetarian snack idea a super cute, gender neutral munchie.


Ingredients

For the Homemade Onion Soup Mix (42g)

  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

For the Cheese Ball

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

For the Decoration

  • A few handfuls of pecan halves or walnut pieces
  • 2 dried black beans for the eyes
  • 1 raisin for the nose
  • Few sprigs of fresh rosemary

For Serving

  • Crackers of your choice

Instructions

Making the Homemade Onion Soup Mix (10 minutes)

  1. Stir together all the spices in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. In a few batches, grind the spices a little smaller using a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Making the Cheese Ball (10 minutes + 2 hours chilling)

  1. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in the cheddar cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, homemade onion soup mix, lemon juice, and additional spices.  Blend until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides for an even mix.
  2. Spoon the cheese mixture into a medium bowl and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours to firm up the mixture.

Shaping & Decorating the Cheese Ball (15 minutes)

  1. Once the cheese mixture has chilled enough to handle, shape it into a smooth ball, then use your hands to shape one end into a point to make the hedgehog’s head.  Place the hedgehog on the serving board and make any adjustments to the shape.
  2. Stick on the two dried beans for eyes and the raisin for a nose.  Decorate the hedgehog’s back with rows of pecan halves or walnut pieces to look like spines.
  3. Curl a few sprigs of fresh rosemary around the hedgehog to look like pine branches in a forest.
  4. Serve the cheese ball chilled with crackers.

Notes

  • Try spreading the cheese mixture for a crostini or in a sandwich.  Yum!
  • If you’re making the cheese ball ahead of time, poke a few toothpicks into the hedgehog and cover securely with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it.
  • Any leftover cheese ball can be kept in the fridge for 1 week, and also may be frozen.

Keywords: woodland hedgehog, cheese ball

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