COOKING WITH DIANNE Snowman Cheese Ball

Keep guests happy with a Snowman Cheese Ball. This festive appetizer is perfect to serve prior to Christmas dinner or as a welcome addition to a pot-luck meal.

If you are looking for a simple-to-make but festive appetizer to serve ahead of Christmas dinner or to drop-in guests visiting this week, look no further than this simple to prepare Snowman Cheese Ball.

The ingredient list is short, you may already have most of them in the refrigerator or on the pantry shelf without making a trip to the grocery store, yet the finished product is absolutely adorable and so fitting to serve for the holiday.

The cheese ball mixture can be made ahead and stored tightly-covered in the refrigerator. The base of the seasonal snowman can also be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator but if you don’t want to take up the space, just finish it about an hour before guests arrive. The cheese ball should come up to room temperature for ease in spreading and fullest flavor.

The snowman can be finished in two ways. You can either roll the body and head in finely shredded white cheese such as Monterey jack, mozzarella or even Parmesan or you can “spackle” the snowman form with spreadable cream cheese.

No spreadable cream cheese on hand? Make your own by softening an 8-ounce block of cream cheese and then mixing it with a tablespoon or two of milk until the cream cheese reaches a spreadable consistency. Use a spatula to gently spread on the softened cream cheese.

You can decorate the little guy any way you like before serving with your favorite crackers, pretzels or fresh vegetables.

I used peppercorns and the end of a carrot for a nose because that was what I had on hand but I would not recommend decorating with peppercorns if you are going to be serving this to children. Black or green olive slices, pickle pieces or vegetable pieces or slices all make great facial features, scarves or buttons. If you have them on hand you can also make him some arms from pretzel sticks.

Snowman

Cheese Ball

  • 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sharp cheese, shredded and at room temperature (Editor’s note: I used sharp white cheddar cheese but yellow will work. You are going to cover it up anyway.)
  • 1 1-ounce envelope dry ranch dressing mix
  • Items for decorating the snowman

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese and dry dressing mix. Cream until well combined.

Divide the mixture into thirds. Use one-third for the head and two thirds for the body. Wrap both sections in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours or up to several days.

Prior to serving, roll each in the finely shredded cheese and then stack together with the smaller ball on top. If you are using the spreadable cream cheese, I would recommend putting the balls together before gently spreading on the cream cheese.

Decorate as desired. Serve with a choice of crackers or sliced fresh vegetables.