Introduction: Modular Cheeseball

About: I'm a Renaissance woman. I love to create things with a fantasy, medieval, or geeky edge. I'm also a math/science nerd. I have a passion for all things Halloween. I like to build props, create costume elements…

This instructable will show you how to make a modular cheeseball. I call it modular because it can be made with any combination of flavors you prefer. Maybe you like it mild and herby, smoky and sharp, or hot and spicy. This cheeseball can accommodate all tastes.

My youngest daughter adores cheese but dislikes the nutty coating on the outside of the cheeseballs you find in stores. So, instead of scraping off the nutty coating, I decided to figure out how to make them myself. It was surprisingly easy and I learned that you can vary the end result tremendously based on spice and cheese choices used.

It only takes about 5 minutes of actual hands-on time in the kitchen to create a custom cheeseball. It will always be perfect because it has been made with your tastes in mind. The fact that these are much cheaper to make than those bland shrink-wrapped things they sell during the holidays is just a bonus.

Step 1: Gathering Your Ingredients

You need:

4 oz. cream cheese

4 oz. (or 1/2 cup) shredded cheese, whichever variety you prefer

Herbs, spices, etc. of your choice

(optional) 2 Tbsp. finely chopped nuts of your choice or minced fresh herbs of your
choice to use as coating

Step 2: Getting Started

Place the cream cheese in a small, microwavable bowl.
Warm in the microwave 30 sec. or so until the cream cheese is soft and warm.

Step 3: Giving It Flavor

Stir in your favorite seasonings.

I like to make mine using
1/2 teas garlic powder
1/2 teas onion powder
1 teas dried parsley
1/4 teas liquid smoke

Step 4: Cheesing It Up

Add shredded cheese. As you can see, I am using a blend of cheeses.

Consider what cheese flavors might compliment your seasonings. For example: if you are putting in chopped jalepenos and other spicy flavors, try using Montery Jack. For an herb-packed cheeseball, try a Havarti. There are so many cheeses in the world, the possibilities are endless.

Step 5: Bringing It Together

Stir to combine.

If the cheese has melted and the whole cheesy mass has achieved a fairly uniform color and smooth texture, you are done. If not, microwave for another 20 seconds and stir. Repeat until the cheeses are well-combined.

Set aside to cool (or pop into the refrigerator for a bit).

Step 6: Final Touches

When cool yet still pliable, form the cheese mixture into a ball.

(Optional) When satisfied with the shape, roll in nuts or herbs, if desired. My family prefers their cheeseballs without a coating.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

When you are going to use your cheeseball, take it out of the refrigerator to soften for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers or veggies.