Holiday Cheese

5 Creative Holiday Party Snacks You Can Make With Cheese

Christmas is almost here, and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner – so you’re likely scrambling to come up with some last-minute food options for your seasonal parties. But just because you left meal prep until the last available second doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on your table-ready flair. In fact, there are wonderful appetizers and meal additions you can create using one of everyone’s favorite ingredients: cheese!

We were inspired by Cabot brand’s holiday cheese guide this season, and compiled an easy list of the delightful cheese snacks you can entertain your guests with. Be warned: your friends and family may not be able to stop themselves from Instagramming at the table!

Holiday Cheese Wreath

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To make this festive centerpiece, you’ll need:

2 (11-ounce) tubes refrigerated French loaf dough
About 3 bunches fresh rosemary
3 (8-ounce) bars assorted flavors Cabot Cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
Red and yellow grape tomatoes

Ready to get crafty? First, “form two tubes of dough into single ring, pinching ends together firmly. Bake according to package directions (but not slashing tops),” Cabot brand advises. “Once bread ring has cooled, cut angled trough in top with serrated knife, then pull out more bread to make trough deeper. Place ring on serving plate. Break or snip rosemary into short lengths. Poke holes in side of bread ring with wooden skewer and insert rosemary sprigs, shorter on top and longer beneath. Place platter in plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill ring with cheddar cubes and tuck in grape tomatoes.”

Christmas Tree Cheese

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Were you going to put out a cheese and veggies platter anyway? This little upgrade is sure to wow your guests! To create your own Christmas tree cheese platter, you’ll need:

5 (8-ounce) bars Cabot Sharp Cheddar, plain and flavored
Fresh thyme sprigs
Grape cherry tomatoes or olives

To design your own tree, start off by cutting “each bar of cheddar into 1-inch cubes,” Cabot advises. “Arrange cubes in rows to form tree shape on large platter or cutting board, using different flavor for each row and separating flavors with thyme sprigs and rows of tomatoes or olives. For star on top, cut triangles of cheddar cheese and arrange into a star pattern.”

Christmas Tree Cheese Ball

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Are cheese balls a staple at your holiday dinner tables? We love this crafty version from Betty Crocker. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
 Red pepper sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
Piece of lemon peel, if desired
Assorted crackers, if desired

To create this eye-catching arrangement, “stir together cream cheese and Cheddar cheese; divide in half. Stir pesto into 1 half; stir onion, mustard and 2 or 3 drops pepper sauce into other half. Cover each half; refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape,” the brand advises. Then, “place cheese mixtures on cookie sheet. Shape each half into cone shape to look like a pine tree.”

Just before serving, “roll trees in parsley, pressing it evenly onto trees. Press pine nuts onto trees in string form for garland. Press bell pepper pieces onto trees for ornaments. Top each tree with star shape cut from lemon peel. Serve with crackers.”

Snowman Cheese Ball

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Another fabulous cheese ball idea from Betty Crocker is a kid-friendly snowman design! This one needs a little pre-preparation though. To start, you’ll need:

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 drops red pepper sauce
1 container (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese, softened
Assorted crackers, if desired

Then, let your imagination run wild, just like when you’re creating real snowmen! Start by mixing “3 packages cream cheese and the Cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts. Combine 2 parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture,” the brand says. “Cover each cheese mixture and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape. Shape each cheese mixture into ball. Wrap each ball, label and freeze. About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator.

When you’re ready to go, “arrange balls on serving plate with smaller ball on top for head of snowman. Frost snowman with whipped cream cheese before serving. Decorate as desired. Serve with crackers. Store covered in refrigerator.”

Holiday Cheese Island

Holiday CheeseImage Source

Dreaming of an island getaway after a cold winter and hectic holiday season? We hear you. A fun way to bring some sun to your end-of-year gathering is with another holiday cheese platter idea from Cabot. You’ll need:

Small unpitted black olives
2 (8-ounce) bars Cabot Sharp Cheddar plus bars assorted flavors of Cabot Cheddar
Fish-shaped crackers or pretzels

Now get your DIY on!”Cut with scissors, notches in edges of leaves to resemble palm leaves, about 5 leaves per ‘palm tree’,” Cabot advises. “Peel carrot and cut off a few thin crosswise slices. Notch slices to resemble starfish. Cut with apple corer or small round cutter, cylinders from 1-inch thick slices of Sharp Cheddar, about 5 cylinders per palm tree. Cut one square of 1/2-inch-thick cheddar for each tree to act as a stabilizing base.”

To make your palm tree, “spear a toothpick through one cylinder into square base. Add additional cylinders to make trunk of tree, using more toothpicks as needed, and angling cylinders a bit to make trunk look curved. Arrange about 5 notched leaves on top of the last cylinder, spearing them in place with another toothpick. Add black olive ‘coconuts’, attaching them with a short section of toothpick.”

When that’s all complete, “place trees in center of large serving plate- a blue or green plate or a clear glass plate placed over a blue or green napkin will resemble water. Arrange cubes of your favorite flavors of cheddar around the trees. Add the carrot starfish, a few more olive coconuts, and fish-shaped crackers or pretzels.”

All of these holiday cheese ideas are sure to make your holiday gathering extra special! Make sure to tag us @RichardMagazine on Instagram (plus these wonderful brands!) if you use any recipes this season.

More: Christmas Drinks Sure To Be A Hit On Your Instagram
Imagery via Cabot Cheese and Betty Crocker


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