Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: A Duo of Tasty Cheese Balls

For the holidays, I teamed up with Collective Bias® and Price Chopper for this Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: A Duo of Tasty Cheese Balls post featuring two easy cheese ball recipes: one for the kids and one for the adults!

Cheese Ball Duo: One for the Kids (Chocolate Peanut Butter) and one for the Adults (Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese) #shop #HolidayAdvantEdge and #cbias

What does holiday entertaining in your house look like?  When I was younger, it was always a small event.  My mom, dad, and little sis would hang out by the fireplace and enjoy a nice, quiet Christmas Eve waiting for the first sign of Santa Claus. Speaking of waiting for Santa Claus, does anyone else remember watching the NORAD radar that tracked Santa’s movements around the world?  I remember being glued to the tv (this was before the internet!) waiting for updates on where Santa was at that very instant.  Ah, good memories!  Occasionally, we’d have grandparents or maybe a couple of family friends join us for drinks and tasty holiday recipes.  All in all, those family gatherings were quiet, but really fun!

Fast forward a few years to when I married a great gal and her huge Italian family. Wait, did I say huge?  I meant gigantic.  Christmas Eve celebrations now involve 20-30 adults and loads of kids.  And everyone is running around talking at the same time.  Needless to say, it’s a bit different than the holiday celebrations that I knew as a kid.  But these gatherings are great!  It took some adjustment to get used to them, but now I actually look forward to the craziness that is the holidays with my wife’s gigantic, Italian family.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball #shop #HolidayAdvantEdge and #cbias

Regardless of how many people are there, holiday celebrations almost always involve adults, kids, and lots of tasty foods to nibble on.  So this year, I teamed up with Price Chopper to create two recipes: one adult version and one kid-friendly version.  Whether its a big party or a small get-together, cheese balls are always a hit, so I knew recipes for tasty cheese balls were in order here!

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy: A Duo of Tasty Cheese Balls

For the kid-friendly cheese ball, I went with a classic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball.  But the sweet bites don’t stop there!  I used Pillsbury’s Refrigerated Pizza Dough to make Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps to use as “dippers” for this cheese ball.  I don’t know about you, but any bite than includes chocolate, peanut butter, cinnamon, and sugar is pretty high on my list!

Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese Ball #shop #HolidayAdvantEdge and #cbiasFor the adult-friendly cheese ball, I decided to go with some stronger flavors.  This Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese Ball is delicious and perfect for the older crowd at the party!  I know blue cheese is a strong flavor, and I actually recommend using a strong, creamy blue cheese in this recipe.

The blue cheese is mellowed by the cream cheese, so you actually want a stronger (or as my wife calls it…”stinkier”) blue cheese.  (I only recently discovered a love for blue cheese, and I’m still working on acquiring a taste for stronger blue cheeses…and I found this cheese ball to be quite tasty!)  Instead of plain crackers, I used Pillsbury’s Refrigerated Crusty French Load to make little toast points to use as dippers.

If you really want to take this Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese Ball to the next level, drizzle some honey over the toast points and also include ginger snaps and pears as dippers.  Ginger, honey, and blue cheese?  Say what?  Just trust me on this one!

Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese Ball #shop #HolidayAdvantEdge and #cbias

Toasted Walnut Blue Cheese Ball

Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 16 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 133kcal

Ingredients

For the Cheese Ball

  • ¼ cup walnuts coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 4 oz. soft blue cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon ~1 Tbsp lemon zest

For the Dippers

  • 1 package Pillsbury Refrigerated Crusty French Loaf
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ginger snaps
  • pears

Instructions

For the Cheese Ball

  • Place the chopped walnuts on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 6-7 minutes, or until crisp; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the softened cream cheese, blue cheese, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. (Tip: If mixture is too difficult to stir, just microwave it for about 5 seconds.)
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Transfer mixture to wax paper and use paper to help roll into a ball.
  • Place toasted walnuts in a large bowl; Roll chilled cheese ball in toasted walnuts.

For the Dippers

  • Bake the Crusty French Loaf according to directions on package. Allow loaf to cool.
  • Slice the loaf into 1/4" slices and arrange slices on a sheet pan. Bake slices at 300° for 24-28 minutes, or until crispy and light golden brown.
  • Drizzle toasted bread slices with honey prior to serving. Also serve with ginger snaps and sliced pears.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball #shop #HolidayAdvantEdge and #cbias

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball

This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball is a great dessert appetizer for holiday gatherings! (It's always a huge hit with the kids, too.)
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 167kcal

Ingredients

For the Cheese Ball

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mini-chocolate chips

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps

  • 1 package Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Dough
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Green Apples

Instructions

For the Cheese Ball

  • In a medium bowl, add the softened cream cheese, softened butter, and peanut butter. Mix until well combined. (Tip: If mixture is too difficult to stir, just microwave it for about 5 seconds.)
  • Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Transfer mixture to wax paper and use paper to help roll into a ball.
  • Place mini-chocolate chips in a large bowl; Roll chilled cheese ball in mini-chocolate chips. Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps

  • Roll out the pizza dough to the size of a sheet pan (12"x15"). (Tip: Use a little flour to prevent the pizza dough from sticking to the counter.)
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon; stir until fully mixed. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the pizza dough. Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into squares and triangles. Transfer dough pieces to a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400°F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
  • Serve cheese ball with Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps, vanilla wafers, and sliced green apples.

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13 Comments

    1. Thanks so much, Laura! It’s fun to have one for the adults and then a different one for the kids so they feel included, too. (Of course, I like them both…so I guess that makes me an adult and a kid?) 🙂

  1. I don’t have to BIG of a family but it’s bigger than what my husband is used to when it comes to family gathering. It also took him some time to get use to. 🙂 Now our gatherings are more intimate so when it comes to huge get-together, it kinda freaks me out –haha!

    I’m really digging the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheese Ball one. Pinning for sure! Have a great week David.

    1. I can totally identify with your husband here, Anne. I still have to have time out during the holidays just to get away and go read a book or something. I do miss the smaller gatherings, but the big ones are fun, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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