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Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Balls

  • recipe photo
  • What a perfect way to kick off a night of trick-or-treating. Loaded with protein and served with fruits and veggies, your kids will love this creamy, spreadable dip disguised as a miniature pumpkin. Use finely grated cheddar cheese for the smoothest appearance.

Even your toddler can help you shape the cheese spread into miniature pumpkins and top them with pretzel or broccoli 'stems.'

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 oz.) finely shredded cheddar cheese, medium or sharp
  • 8 oz. (1 box) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • For the stems: Pretzel sticks or broccoli stems
  • For serving: Crackers, apple slices and fresh vegetables such as jicama, carrots and zucchini

Preparation

  • Place the cheddar cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 20 seconds. (This will help break up the cheese into smaller pieces to create a smooth pumpkin.) Add the cream cheese, sour cream, paprika, salt and pepper and mix on medium speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice if necessary.

  • Use a spatula to remove the mixture from the bowl. Using an ice-cream scoop or your hands, shape the cheese and mixture into 8-12 individual balls about the size of golf balls or smaller. Using a table knife or pastry spatula, smooth the outer surface of the “pumpkins”, then use the knife to make vertical grooves around them. Top each pumpkin with a pretzel twist or piece of broccoli stalk to resemble a stem.

  • Place the pumpkins on a serving platter or individual plates, then serve with crackers, apple slices and fresh vegetables for dipping.

Serves 8 - 12