Stacked high in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, these almond-shingled spheres promise to be the perfect hors d’oeuvre. But promises are made to be broken.
Element of Distress
With their unnatural orange hue and a flavor that’s more Cheetos than cheddar, supermarket cheese balls make you wonder if there’s any real cheese in them at all—or if they’re simply made from “cheese” squirted out of a can.
Line of Attack
We’d forego the processed stuff and use real—extra-sharp!—cheddar cheese (tempered with cream cheese) for our ultra-spreadable balls. The ultimate party orb would soon be ours: smooth and creamy, boldly seasoned, and rolled in tasty, festive coatings.
Kind of a no-brainer, but shouldn’t a cheese ball be made of cheese—and the best stuff you can find, too? By using real cheese, we figured we were already well on our way to creating a superior recipe. For the optimal consistency—firm, yet spreadable, smooth, not mealy—our basic cheese ball used equal parts extra-sharp cheddar and cream cheese, which contributed creaminess and tanginess and helped the ball hold together.
For good measure, we added mayonnaise (for silkiness and sticking power), and Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic (for lots of flavor “oomph” without compromising texture). Pretty tasty ball, if you ask us.
Last crucial ingredient? Hint: It’s big, cold, and probably has some silly things stuck to its face. (Answer: Your trusty refrigerator!) But seriously: After a few hours in the fridge to firm up, the cheese balls should be almost ready for showtime. If you don’t wish for a slew of bald balls, roll them in toasted nuts or fresh herbs for a proper party presentation. Just let them rest at room temperature for a quick spell—just 15 minutes—and they’ll be perfectly spreadable and creamy.
The ball’s now in your court. Ready to serve?