Full-sized or mini snacking perfection!
Cheese balls are one of those party favourites that seem to go in and out of fashion every ten years or so. I used to serve them faithfully at cocktail parties – back in the days of buffet-style snacking – but stopped when the typical chopped-pecan coating made cheese balls unsafe for potential nut-allergic guests. Nevertheless, I missed their delicious simplicity. This new version is even more tasty thanks to the homemade ‘everything bagel’ spice blend that coats the cheesy deliciousness and adds a ton of crunch and flavour. These days, I prefer to make couple-sized or individual-sized cheese balls for safe snacking. Paired with a box of gourmet crackers, these cheese balls make excellent gifts and are perfect for enjoying with a beverage during videochat visits.
‘Everything bagel’ spice blend:
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) white sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons (18 g) black sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) dried onion flakes (not onion powder)
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) dried garlic flakes (not garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (9 g) medium-coarse kosher salt or fleur de sel
- One 8 oz (227 g) tub of spreadable cream cheese
- 2 cups (165 g) grated old Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup (60 g) goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
- Few dashes (or more) hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the ‘everything bagel’ spice blend by putting all ingredients in a small jar. Stir or shake to blend together. Pour about half the mixture into a broad, shallow bowl and set aside.
- Make the cheese mixture by putting the cream cheese, Cheddar, goat cheese, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir vigorously with a spoon until the cheddar starts to break down into smaller pieces and the mixture starts to blend together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- With very clean hands, shape the cheese mixture into one large ball or several smaller portions (this recipe can make 6 balls for individual servings). Press down slightly to flatten the bottom of each ball.
- Lay out plastic wrap on the counter (one for each cheese ball). Working with one ball at a time, press it into the ‘everything bagel’ spice mixture. It may be helpful to use a spoon to sprinkle some of the mixture on the top and sides as you gently move the ball around to press it into the bowl of seasoning. Add a bit more seasoning from the reserved jar if needed.
- Wrap the cheese ball(s) tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving with crackers or crostini.
- Cheese balls may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Leftover ‘everything bagel’ spice mixture can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months. It’s delicious on eggs, avocado toast, roasted vegetables, salads and more.