Spiced Cherry Cheese Ball

You will love the fruit and cheese flavors in this festive log which makes a wonderful gift idea. Serve with Ritz crackers.

Yield

24 servings (2 tablespoons spread and 5 crackers each)

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese spread, softened (e.g. PHILADELPHIA)
1 (8 ounce) package CRACKER BARREL Shredded Vermont Sharp White
Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (e.g. PLANTERS)
RITZ Crackers

Directions

In a small bowl mix cream cheese and Cheddar until blended. Stir in cherries and spice.

Shape into log; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Roll in nuts just before serving. Serve with crackers.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

Additional Information

How to Wrap for Gift-Giving: Place cheese ball and knife on decorative platter or cutting board. Wrap with colorful cellophane and ribbon. After serving the cheese ball at the holiday party, the hostess will have a lovely gift to remember the occasion by!

Variation

Italian: Substitute 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mozzarella cheese for the Cheddar, 1/4 cup sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes for the cherries and 1/2 teaspoon each Italian seasoning and garlic powder for the pumpkin pie spice.

Smoky Bacon: Omit pumpkin pie spice. Mix ingredients as directed, substituting 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese for the shredded CRACKER BARREL Cheese and 2 tablespoons OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits for the cherries. Stir in 2 sliced green onions, then shape into ball.

Herbed: Omit pumpkin pie spice. Prepare as directed, substituting 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mozzarella cheese for the Cheddar and 1 clove minced garlic and 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley, fresh basil and chives for the cherries.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving: Calories: 170; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 4.5 g; Cholesterol: 20 mg; Sodium: 230 mg; Carbohydrate: 13 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 4 g

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