Looking for a unique and easy to make holiday appetizer?🎄
How about making a yummy cheese ball that looks like a pine cone?! You can actually use your favorite cheese ball recipe to implement this idea, or make the easy and delicious bacon ranch flavored version I’m sharing today.
This appetizer appears super fancy and festive, but it’s actually fairly SIMPLE to make!
Just form mixture into a pine cone shape on a plate or cheeseboard and press almonds all around the top. I roasted about a cup and a half of raw almonds to enhance flavor first, but that step is optional.
Note: This recipe uses two bars of cream cheese and would make two pine cones, so feel free to half it if entertaining for a small crowd.
Pine Cone Cheese Ball
No one can resist a Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball, especially when it's shaped like a pine cone!
Mix softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayo, ranch seasoning, green onions, and bacon crumbles in a mixing bowl.
Place mixture in the fridge to chill, while toasting almonds.
On a large cookie sheet, roast whole almonds in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or so until browned.
On a large platter or tray, form two pine cone shapes with cheese mixture. (A pine cone shape will have one wide flatter end and one pointy end.)
Starting at the pointy end, press almonds into the cheese so that the tip of the almond is facing out and pointing down. Continue up the cone until it's covered with almonds. (It may look odd at first but gets better!)
Optional but fun, arrange some rosemary pieces and a few cranberries at the top of pine cones so it looks like pine needles.
Chill appetizer in fridge until ready to serve.
I appreciate that cheese ball appetizers can be made ahead of time, and are super easy to adapt and customize to taste! You could go with more of a garlic and fresh herb version instead of bacon, and maybe experiment with adding different soft cheeses such as goat cheese or blue cheese.
Options are endless!
This Pine Cone Cheese Ball looks super pretty and would be such a delicious snack to take to a Christmas or New Years Eve party! It could even be a nice low carb option if you serve with veggies instead of crackers.
Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.