Thursday, December 1, 2016

Snowman Cheese Ball

We have a guest today from the Denver-based book club Crime & Beyond. Lorraine Masonheimer is here to tell us how to make a Snowman Cheese Ball that was inspired by the book The Snowman by Jo Nesbo.

Cheeseball ingredients:

2 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese, at room temperature  (2 Tbsp reserved to glue hat together)
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese
1/2 orange bell pepper, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green part
½t garlic salt
2 drops hot sauce
¼t cayenne pepper

Decoration ingredients:
3 slices pumpernickel bread (4 small circles, 1 large circle to assemble hat)
1 English cucumber (sliced the length of the cucumber with a vegetable peeler for scarf)
A dab of red food paste
pink nonpareils small pearl sprinkles (if desired)
2 wooden skewers
2 toothpicks
3 peppercorns (mouth)
1 clove (scarf pin)
2 black sugar large pearl sprinkles (eyes)
3 carrots with roots (nose & arms)

Step One: Creating the Cheese Balls

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until mixed together well. Divide cheese mixture into two sections—one larger for the snowman's body and one smaller for the head. Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into balls. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Step Two: Preparing the Cheese Balls for Decorating

Before removing cheese balls from plastic wrap, re-form cheese into round balls. This will be easier to do after the cheese has chilled.

Place larger cheese ball onto serving tray in desired spot. Position the head to lean slightly forward in a menacing stance by inserting two wooden skewers slightly forward of center angled forward. Secure the head to the bottom cheese ball.

Step Three: Decorating the Snowman

Using a toothpick, dig two evil eyes similar to the photo. Insert a black sugar pearl for each eye.

Cut a crooked root off the small end of a carrot and insert it for the nose.
Cut two crooked roots off the small end of a carrot for the arms or use broken pretzels. Place one arm slightly forward for a menacing stance.

Place 3 peppercorns to one side of face for an evil smile.

Step Three: Creating the Top Hat & Scarf

Cut 3-4 small circles from the pumpernickel bread and 1 larger circle for the hat.  Use the reserved cream cheese to glue the pieces together and secure to the head with 2 toothpicks placed slightly forward on the head for a menacing tilt.

Paint the cucumber slice with a dab of red dye to create a pink scarf. Dry the cucumber with a paper towel. If desired, sprinkle with pink small pearl nonpareils and drape around the neck.  Attach with a clove.

If desired, dab red food paste onto the snowman body or pour a little cherry jelly onto the plate for blood.

Serve with crackers, bread or vegetables. The Snowman is soft enough that you won’t break your crackers if you dig right in. This appetizer tastes great with red or white wine.

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