This beautiful pinecone cheeseball has been on my to-do list since the summer! And you won’t believe just how easy it is to make. I’ve seen lots of these pinecone cheeseballs on Pinterest so I did a whole lot of experimenting to bring you the best shape, easiest instructions, and 3 scrumptious cheese ball flavors. This festive treat will be showing up on Christmas day along with a lovely spreading knife and some buttery crackers. Let’s make a pinecone cheeseball!
Now let’s make a pinecone good enough to eat!
Here are a few helpful things to know…
- most of the recipes for a pinecone cheeseball out there make very small cheeseballs. My recipe is for a nice large pinecone, one that is able to feed a group of people!
- shaping your cheeseball is the most important thing for a realistic looking pinecone. It should resemble a fat almond with one pointy end and the other end slightly flattened out.
- this cheeseball uses lots and lots of almonds.
- toast the almonds in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. They become pretty and brown and have a nuttier flavor
- many recipes tell you to stick the almonds into the cheeseball at an upward angle. If you want the cheeseball to be covered and not a lot of gaps, don’t do this. Lay them almost flat against the cheeseball.
- start adding almonds to the cheeseball at the tip of the pinecone. It really doesn’t look like a pinecone at first. Start at the tip of the pinecone and work either side to the edge. Start the next row right above the row before
- this is not hard at all!!!!
- make the cheese spread in a food processor
- garnish with fresh herbs and cranberries
- 2 - 8oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz. cheddar cheese (or more up to another 8 oz.)
- 1 1/2 to 2 packets of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
- 1 1/2 tsp stone ground mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 lb whole almonds
- Fresh herbs and cranberries for garnish
- Buttery crackers
- Add everything to the food processor, except the almonds, and completely incorporate.
- Form the cheese spread into a fat almond shape with one end slightly flattened.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 °. Put the whole almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. When the oven is ready bake them until just lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
- Take the cheeseball from the refrigerator, unwrap and set on a serving plate. Beginning at the tip of the cheeseball press almonds into the soft mixture starting in the front middle and working to each side. Continue until the cheeseball is covered with almonds resembling a pinecone. The closer you put the almonds together the better your pinecone will look.
- Garnish the top of the pinecone with sprigs of herbs and cranberries.
- Serve immediately with buttery crackers.
- To serve later, tightly cover the cheeseball with plastic wrap and put the tray with the pinecone on it into the refrigerator until ready to use. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
- Change out the Hidden Valley Ranch mix for 1 Lipton Onion Soup mix for a cheesy onion flavored cheeseball.
- Exchange the Hidden Valley Ranch Mix for 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 5 pieces of cooked, chopped bacon, 1 TBS finely chopped green onion and 1 tsp fresh dill for a bacon flavored cheeseball
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