LOVING this appetizer idea from Better Homes and Gardens! An updated version of everyone’s favorite cheese ball…..done in mini-size to look like Christmas ornaments, and served in a footed bowl…..yummy and pretty!
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 6 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chevre) or crumbled feta cheese
- 24 pickled jalapeno pepper slices* or small pimiento-stuffed green olives, well drained
- 1/2 cup dried red sweet pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped toasted pumpkin seeds
1. In a medium bowl stir together the cream cheese and the goat or feta cheese until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
2. Using a rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture, form it around a jalapeño slice or green olive, completely enclosing the pepper or olive.** Mixture will be sticky; moisten hands as necessary. (Chill mixture if it becomes too soft to handle.) Place shaped balls on a shallow pan. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour.
3. Roll one-third of the balls in the red sweet peppers, one-third in the cilantro, and one-third in the pumpkin seeds to coat, leaving some white showing. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. Serve with picks. Makes 24 appetizers.
*Note: Hot peppers contain oils that can burn eyes, lips, and sensitive skin, so wear plastic gloves while preparing them and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
**Note: For smaller balls, use a rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture and omit the jalapeño slices or pimiento-stuffed green olives. Shape into balls.