This creamy cheese combination paired with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans make this the perfect shareable snack!
As you might recall, I’m not a big fan of cream cheese. However, I am a total sucker for anything that involves white cheddar cheddar cheese – so, cheese balls? I’m all over that. Cheese balls with cranberries and nuts? Just hand it over and nobody gets hurt.
And that, my friends, is why I made this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball.
This is the perfect appetizer to set out for your guests while you prepare the main course for your holiday dinner. It’s self-serve, and doesn’t require anything fancy. Just set out a plate with this bad boy surrounded by crackers, toss a cheese knife (okay, maybe don’t toss it – place it gently) next to it and you’re done. You don’t have to worry about portion sizes because people can take as little or as much as they’d like. See? I told you – it’s perfect.
How cute is this little “Gobble Gobble Until You Wobble” placard I got at Target? The answer is “SO cute”.
Anyway. I added a little orange extract to mine, because of course I did. You could add a hint of red food coloring if you wanted to be even more festive. Or you could even add some cranberry puree, it would just be a little bit messier.
You want to keep the cheese ball chilled until it’s ready to be served, but once you’ve set it out it will only get easier to cut into. Frankly, that can only help things once your guests are a few cocktails into the evening – getting the cheese onto the cracker is quite the feat when you’re doing it through an eggnog-induced haze.
I find that this is the perfect size for 10 people – so if you have more than that, you might want to make more than one. Or you could make one GIANT cheeseball and then take a picture of it next to your dog for perspective and send it to me. Because dog.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tag your recipes with #stressbaking so that I can see them! And seriously, someone please make a giant dog-sized one ???? ????Print
This creamy cheese combination paired with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans make this the perfect shareable snack for your holiday gatherings!
- 8 ounces cream cheese (I prefer Cabot Neufchatel cheese)
- 2 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (I recommend Diamond of California)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans
- In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well combined. If adding orange extract, add it now and beat well.
- Add chopped cranberries and stir to combine.
- Place mixture in the center of a piece of plastic wrap and cover completely with wrap while forming it into a ball shape. Place in fridge to chill for a couple hours.
- Unwrap the ball, place on serving dish and cover the outside with whole dried cranberries and pecans (you may need more or less than a cup each depending on the side of the ball you made).
- Serve with crackers, pita chips or pretzels. Enjoy!