With another week of Christmas and New Year gatherings still to enjoy, here is a handy, flexible recipe for an appetizer I collected from my friend Kathy Kerr who picked it up from her sister. Called cheese balls, they aren’t the spread-on-a-cracker kind, rather instead a pop-in-your-mouth sort.
Here are all the ways this recipes flexes. You can serve these hot or cold. You can make the dough ahead and bake off as many as you need at a time. You can bake them ahead, store them like you would cookies, and warm them in the oven briefly or serve them at room temperature. You can use cheddar, or jack cheese, or even a spicy jack. You can add different spices: instead of mustard, use black pepper; instead of plain paprika, use smoked paprika; curry, cumin, dried garlic, or dried dill.
And as a boon to those who must avoid gluten, this recipe adapts well to the use of a gluten-less flour. Obviously, these will be a yummy addition to holiday parties, or Super Bowl, or Easter Dinner appetizers, or any old time of year.
- ½ pound or 2 sticks of butter
- 1 pound of sharp cheese, grated
- 3 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Heat an oven t0 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Form the dough into small balls no more than one inch in diameter.
- Bake for ten to 12 minutes.
- Makes about six dozen, depending on size.