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.
For the Homemade Onion Soup Mix (1/3 cup, 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 (453g)
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (240g)
- 1/4 cup sour cream (60 ml)
- 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
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
- 2 dried black beans for the eyes
- 1 raisin for the nose
- Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Crackers of your choice
Making the Homemade Onion Soup Mix (5 minutes)
- Stir together all the spices in a small bowl until well combined.
- 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)
- Beat the cream cheese and cheddar with a hand-held electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and additional spices. Add the homemade onion soup mix to taste.
- Blend until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides for an even mix.
- Chill the cheese mixture in the fridge for about 2 hours to firm up the mixture. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days at this point if you want to make it ahead.
Shaping & Decorating the Cheese Ball (15 minutes)
- Once the mixture has chilled enough to handle, place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold the wrap around the cheese, then shape it into a smooth ball. Use your hands to shape one end into a point to make the hedgehog's head.
- Unwrap the hedgehog and place him on the serving board. Make any adjustments to the shape, smoothing holes or creases with the back of a spoon.
- Once you're satisfied with the hedgehog's shape, stick on the two dried beans for eyes and the raisin for a nose. Decorate the hedgehog's back with rows of pecan halves and walnut pieces to look like spines.
- Curl a few sprigs of fresh rosemary around the hedgehog to look like pine branches in a forest. Serve with crackers.
- Make your own soup mix. The store bought kind contains preservatives and extra salt.
- Grate your own cheese. The pre-grated kind will have a gritty texture in the cheese ball.
- Wrap the mixture in plastic wrap as you're shaping it to keep your hands clean, then peel it off when you're done.
- Want this spicy? Add additional cayenne pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week, or freeze them.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Mixer
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: woodland hedgehog, cheese ball