Who doesn’t enjoy a great cheese ball at a party? I tend to feel a little awkward digging into a giant cheese ball with a cracker or spoon… These mini Cheese Ball Bites are the answer to my prayers – not only are they exceptionally cute but totally practical, too! Skewered with a pretzel stick, they are fun and easy appetisers that are perfect for any party or get-together!
Cheese ball bites are such a great idea for party food. Perhaps not the healthiest, but we all need a bite of pure cheesy deliciousness from time to time, right? And whoever thought of sticking them on a pretzel skewer is on the right track! The pretzel skewers add extra crunch to each bite and make them more accessible as finger food. They’re also much less messy because of this nifty, edible handle, so they are perfect party snacks for all ages!
The Mammoth Cheese Ball of 1801 – how does it compare to our Cheese Ball Bites?
According to Michelle Buffardi, who wrote a cookbook with the intriguing title of Great Balls of Cheese, the cheese ball originated in America (unsurprising) and was presented to the president Thomas Jefferson at the White House! Apparently it was made by a farmer, Elisha Brown Jr., in 1801, and weighed about 560 kilos! Can you even imagine half a tonne of cheese? Sounds like heaven for cheese-lovers.
In another book, Religion and the New Republic: Faith in the Founding of America, Elisha’s giant cheese ball was made from a single day’s milk production of about 900 cows, and took a whole month to transport to Washington, where it was a public spectacle. The “mammoth cheese” was receieved personally by President Jefferson on New Years’ morning.
This recipe for Cheese Ball Bites, however, calls for a more appropriately sized nugget of cheese for the average layman to enjoy at parties with one’s friends.
Ingredients (makes 18 Mini cheese balls)
- 340g Softened Cream Cheese
- 230g Shredded Cheddar
- 1tsp Garlic powder
- 1tsp Paprika
- To taste Salt and freshly ground Pepper
- 8 rashers Cooked and finely chopped Bacon
- 45g Finely chopped fresh Chives
- 4g Finely chopped Pecans
- 18 Pretzel sticks
- Mix together cream cheese, cheddar, garlic powder, and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Form into 18 small balls and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
- In a shallow bowl or on a plate, stir together cooked bacon, chives, and pecans.
- Roll balls in bacon-chive-pecan mixture and insert a pretzel stick in each ball
- You can make the cheese balls ahead of time, but don't insert the pretzels until just before serving - just loosely cover with plastic wrap and return to fridge. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before serving and then insert pretzels
You could also try these with dried cherries and pistachios; dried apricots and almonds; dried cranberries, or green onion and parsley. Or, you could scatter these mini cheese balls (without the pretzel sticks) over a salad to elevate a simple salad to something really special for a fancy holiday meal or dinner party.