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Cheesy. In More Ways Than One.

The mention of a holiday cheese ball can evoke a chuckle from most people. It is reminiscent of something kind of tacky, perhaps in the category of a fruitcake or an ugly Christmas sweater. Even the name itself seems to refer to something silly or corny.

The first time I made a cheese ball for the holidays, my sister and I delighted in the discovery that a leftover cheese ball could be re-rolled and brought to the next party. That year, after several gatherings with family and friends, we giggled over the tiniest cheese ball ever served and happily enjoyed it on New Year’s Day!

I can’t say that I’m a connoisseur of cheese balls but I have tasted enough to know what I really like in them. A few years ago I discovered a recipe that I’ve tweaked to perfection, if I do say so myself.

It’s quite literally a ball of cheese. The “cheesy” of this delightful appetizer happens quite by accident. You could call it a gourmet cheese ball but I’m not sure that will help. Nevertheless, it will be a hit at parties and in high demand at office potlucks. At the request of friends, I’ve been asked to post the recipe.

What can I say but Bon Appetit!

Caraway Dijon Cheese Ball

8 ozs Cream Cheese (Philadelphia CC Block)
2 Tblsp Dijon Mustard (heaping)
2 Tblsp Dry Sherry
2 Tblsp Caraway Seeds
2 Tblsp Vegetable Oil
1 lb Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (2 8-oz bags)
1 1/2 cup Crushed Walnuts
4 Fresh Leaves of Sage (chopped)

  1. Beat cream cheese until fluffy and soft
  2. Stir in mustard, sherry, and caraway seeds. Mix ingredients.
  3. Add cheese and vegetable oil. Beat until completely mixed. Form into a ball.
  4. Mix walnuts and sage together. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap.
  5. Roll ball on the walnut/sage mixture until evenly covered.
  6. Wrap ball in plastic. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. (Best overnight to soften the caraway.)
  7. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
Nothing says the holidays like a cheese ball!
Nothing says the holidays like a cheese ball!