9 Delicious Almond Pine Cone Cheese Balls For Holidays
Hello cheese lovers!
Today I’m bringing you a holiday party winner. Almond pine cone cheese balls! I found different recipes on many sites and I decided to try the varieties during fall and winter, until I create a perfect Christmas recipe. I brought you the easiest recipe for now, and we will also discuss the varieties.
Almond pine cone cheese balls are delicious appetizers that we usually make with cream cheese and mayonnaise, for the end-of-the-year holidays. Like other cheese appetizers, almond pine cones are served with crackers, bread sticks or toasted bread slices. The original recipe is made with any type of cream cheese, blended with a slight amount of mayonnaise, and flavored with seasoning or fresh herbs.
There are different derivatives that I’m preparing to try in my pine cone cheese balls. Mashed potatoes with cream cheese sound really great, and I would love the taste even more than mayonnaise. This type of appetizer is so rich in nutrients and vitamins, especially if you eat it with bell pepper and cucumber slices.
People usually like to mix crispy bacon pieces in the cream cheese, but I think smoked turkey, tuna, shrimp, lobster or crab are more tasty alternatives. Of course you can try them with your everyday meals, until you know exactly which tastes you like better. You may mix ingredients in the food processor, to make turkey or shrimp more soft and well blended with the cheese.
Adding caviar, or olives, sounds magnificent. Many people like caviar appetizers.
Mixing sour and sweet tastes in your pine cone cheese balls is a great idea. You may like fresh or dried fruits, raisins, sauces, ketchup or whatever ingredient to sneak slightly into the mouth and fill you with delight.
Adding spices and dried herbs is important. For example, classic pine cone cheese balls may require onion and garlic powder with fresh dill, thyme, basil or parsley. Also tuna, shrimp, lobster and crab cheese balls may require more spices to taste better.
Speaking about the nuts! Traditional almond pine cone cheese balls are surely made with Almonds! The main reason is almonds go well with cheese, and not just cheese; they taste good with most kinds of cheese, so they make the recipe easy. They are also easy to fit into the cheese balls making pine cone shape. But what about trying other nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans? I find them lovely and most of all you may need to prepare this appetizer, yet you don’t have the suitable decoration. The best thing is to try other options and who would mind lovely crunchy nuts with their cream cheese? No one, I bet!
I added two photos that are not related to our recipe. They are actually desserts as one of them is made from chocolate-nut mixture, and the other I’m not really sure if it is edible pine cones or just decoration. But anyways I like the idea of making several small pine cone cheese balls and why not arranging them in several platters with different decorations for each? You can be creative and prepare some with crispy bacon, some with seafood, some with turkey, and use your different nuts for each platter, surround them with different fruit choices and some herbal garnish.
– 1 package of cream cheese.
– ½ cup of mayonnaise.
– 1 tbsp of olive oil.
– Fresh rosemary springs.
– 1 cup of crispy bacon pieces.
– 2 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley.
– 2 tbsp of freshly chopped leeks.
– Almonds or sliced almonds.
Once you decide on which ingredients to use, prepare your food processor, a suitable bowl and serving platter. Make sure to decide if you’re serving toasted bread or crackers.
In case of crackers or salted crackers, reduce the amount of salty ingredients and add some cranberries while shaping the balls.
– In the food processor, mix the ingredients with seasoning and fresh herbs, letting the cheese aside.
– When you obtain a soft blend, transfer it to the bowl and then mix the cheese and mayonnaise until well blended.
– Transfer the cheese in the bowl and mix with other ingredients with a spatula until all are softened.
– Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for a few hours before using.
– For serving, remove the cling film, bring the serving platter and rub your hands with 1 tbsp of olive oil to ease shaping the balls.
– Place the ball/balls carefully on the platter and gently start pressing the almonds until they stick on the balls forming the pine cone shape.
– Arrange the crackers or bread pieces, garnish with fresh rosemary or thyme springs and serve cold. you can prepare it before the party and let it in in the fridge over night.