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cheese ball covered in almonds to look like a pine cone! Cute idea for a gathering.
Festive "pine cone" cheese ball!
- 1-1/4 cups whole, plain almonds
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup pepperoni, chopped (Bacon would be good too…I just didn’t have any.)
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Sprigs of rosemary, for garnish
(1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds out on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
** I actually forgot this step, but my cheese rounds turned out fine. I imagine toasted almonds would taste better, but I honestly didn’t miss them.
(2) In a large bowl, soften the cream cheese with a spoon/spatula. Add the pepperoni, diced jalapeno, and grated cheese. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Chill overnight.
(3) On a serving platter, divide cheese mixture into 2 portions and shape each like a pine cone.
** I used my hands to roll each portion into balls, then gently squeezed and pressed one end to a create a more narrow point.
(4) Press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pine cone shape.
(5) Do this in rows, continuing to overlap rows until all the cheese is covered.
(6) Garnish with fake sprigs, or real ones, or with rosemary.
(7) Serve at room temperature with crackers or toasted crostini.
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