The following recipe and photography was provided by recipe developer and food photographer, Ashley Durand of Plate & Pen.
I firmly believe that a holiday party is not a party without a cheesy appetizer, and with four, count them, four different kinds of cheese, this Cranberry and White Cheddar Cheese Ball is the life of the party!
What makes cheese balls so great for parties is that they’re very simple to assemble and can be made in advance to save you time on party day! Simply pop it in the freezer to set, pull it out when guests arrive and let them dip and scoop to their heart’s content.
The key to making the perfect cheese ball is finding the right balance between the soft cheeses and block cheeses. I recommend using a food processor to ensure a super smooth and even blend!
Coated in cranberries and almonds for added texture and a pop of fruitiness, choose this cheese ball as your go-to appetizer this holiday season!
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 8 oz. Heinen's soft plain cream cheese
- 8 oz. Heinen's New York sharp white cheddar
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries, plus more for for topping
- 1/3 cup fresh sage, sautéed in 3 Tbsp. of brown butter (if desired)
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, removed from sprigs
- 4 oz. white cheddar cranberry cheese
- 4 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup Heinen's honey
- 1/2 cup slivered or chopped almonds, toasted and divided
- Add the cream cheese, sharp white cheddar cheese, white cheddar cranberry cheese and mascarpone cheese to a food processor.
- Blend the cheeses on medium speed until well mixed. Add a little honey to help the blades move more smoothly if needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the toasted almonds, and blend until fully mixed.
- Place a sheet of a plastic wrap on a flat surface.
- Add the cheese from the food processor to the center of the plastic and begin forming the ball with the wrap on all sides. Ensure that the bottom of the cheese ball is flat so that it can sit evenly on a serving platter.
- Once the ball is fully wrapped, place in the freezer for 30 minutes. If not serving right away, remove from the freezer after 30 minutes and transfer to the fridge.
- When ready to serve, place the cheeseball on a serving platter with crackers and top with the remaining toasted almonds and dried cranberries.