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It’s the week of Halloween. The leaves are eerily falling and the temperature is too. Get in the “spirit” of the season with this pumpkin shaped cheese ball that is sure to wow your Halloweekend guests!
I was looking for inspiration for today’s post and saw the trend of pumpkin shaped cheese balls in my Google search. They are so festive and easy to create…But I wasn’t a fan of the recipes themselves.
So, I did some searching for a little more inspiration and found a cheese ball including pecans (yum.) and bacon (double yum.). So, the following incorporates the recipe for the bacon cheeseball AND the instructions for creating your very own pumpkin shaped ball for your weekend festivities. Oh, and, of course, there’s a Shisler’s Shopping List for you to use as well!
First, the filling. This recipe for the “Ultimate Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball” is taken from The Chunky Chef. I’d highly recommend checking out some other recipes on this blog designated for “family comfort food” as we hedge into the chillier months of the year.
For the ingredients, I’ve swapped out the standard cheeses the Chunky Chef recommends for some Shisler’s specific options.
10 oz cream cheese – room temperature
3 Tbsp sour cream – (optional but recommended)
1 oz package ranch seasoning
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried minced onion
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 cups Shisler’s Garlic Cheddar – finely grated
1/2 cup Shisler’s Smoked Habanero Cheddar – finely grated
8 slices Steb Meats Fresh Cut Smoked Bacon – cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped Heggy’s Fresh Roasted Pecans
1 tsp poppy seeds
To make the cheese ball:
In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, sour cream (if using), and the dry spices. Stir until well mixed with a rubber spatula. Add remaining cheeses, bacon, onions and pecans. Stir until well mixed.
Now, it’s time to make that fun little pumpkin shape. There are a variety of methods I’ve found that range in levels of difficulty. But, I’m always up for a challenge and this one from the Country Cook looked the prettiest! I won’t be offended if you refer direct to her link for the rest of the instructions. She includes videos and step by step photos.
For the coating, you will need four large rubber bands, another cup of orange cheddar (freshly and FINELY grated!) and a quarter cup of crushed Cheetos to give it that bright orange color!
Instructions for creation from the Country Cook (with some modifications):
Form your cheese and bacon blend into a ball. Place in bowl and set aside.
Spread out a large piece of Glad Cling Wrap for your workspace. For size, keep in mind you will be wrapping the whole mixture in this.
Combine the cheddar and Cheetos in a separate bowl.
Sprinkle about a quarter of the cheddar mixture onto the plastic wrap.
Place your cheesy bacon deliciousness on top of cheddar mixture.
Take the rest of the shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle it onto the tops and sides of the cheese ball and wrap it up well with cling wrap.
Two layers of cling wrap work best. It needs to be well-wrapped and wrapped tightly. Now, time to wrap it up with four large and wide rubber bands.
Double wrap each rubber band to get the large indentations that will give the ball the pumpkin shape.
Place cheese ball into the fridge for a minimum of two hours (overnight is best.)
When ready, cut off the rubber bands and carefully remove the cling wrap.
Add the stem of a bell pepper to the top and VOILA! You have created a pumpkin cheese ball. This recipe would be great for either Halloween or Thanksgiving. So, if you don’t have time this week, put it in your Rolodex for next month and get your online ingredient shopping done ahead of time.