Pickled Pepper Cheese Ball

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Hoop cheddar cheese is made from milk alone, after all of the whey has been strained out, leaving a creamy, mild flavor and texture to the cheese. Along with saltier aged cheddar and pickled sweet Peppadew peppers, it adds a pimento cheese–like flavor to this nostalgic appetizer.

Pickled Pepper Cheese Ball Recipe
Photo: Justin Walker
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
14 to 16

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 4 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 4 ounces hoop cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled sweet cherry peppers (such as Mezzetta)

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped smoked almonds

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

  • Crackers

Directions

  1. Stir together cream cheese, aged cheddar, hoop cheddar, cherry peppers, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Divide mixture into 2 equal portions (about 9 ounces each), and shape into 2 balls. Stir together almonds and chives in a medium bowl. Gently roll each cheese ball into almond mixture; pressing lightly to adhere. Chill 1 hour. Serve with crackers.

Make Ahead

Cheese balls can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Notes

If desired, prepare 1 large cheese ball instead of 2 small.

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