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It might be too late for Father's Day delivery, but it's never too late for popcorn! Free shipping on orders $49+. Details here
It might be too late for Father's Day delivery, but it's never too late for popcorn! Free shipping on orders $49+. Details here
Cheese Balls with Popcorn and Bacon

Cheese Balls with Popcorn and Bacon

We remember flipping through Christmas food gift catalogs (you know the ones we mean) and seeing cheese balls. Yes, balls of cheese, or various cheeses, that were then rolled in herbs and spices and nuts and bacon and all manor of other delicious toppings. The idea was that you either served smaller, individually sized balls or one large ball along with crackers for people to dip into. We wanted one of those so badly! Somehow they fell out of favor for parties and were replaced with crudite and baked brie. Don't get us wrong, we have much love for both of those. But we couldn't quite get over our lust for the old fashioned cheese ball. Clearly it was time to make one of our own and, naturally, our crunch would come from our popcorn. Hence the cheese balls with popcorn and bacon recipe came to be in our kitchen.

Cheese balls were super popular with hostesses in the 50's, 60's and 70's but then began being considered old fashioned. Then again, the classic cocktail party idea is old fashioned but we love those. Are they making a comeback? They are in our house and we're definitely serving cheese balls.

So what is in a cheese ball, exactly? It starts with a base of soft cheese, usually cream cheese along with shredded harder cheese. Cheddar is probably the most popular but here is where you can get creative. Any good shredding cheese, such as Gouda, Gruyere, Manchego, etc. will work. You need something soft to help it mix together and it's usually either sour cream or mayonnaise. Some freshness from herbs such as parsley or chives and some spices like garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Here is where we infused extra flavor into ours by using our popcorn seasonings to add the flavor.

Once everything is fully incorporated, you form small (or large) balls. We used a cookie scoop to make them uniform and chose the 1 1/2 oz. size for a healthy portion. That netted us 8 cheese balls but you can use a 1 oz. scoop and get about a dozen.

Finally, the wow factor of cheese balls comes from rolling them in various toppings. Bacon is common as are nuts. We went with thick cut, smoky bacon and our Baby White popcorn. When you dip a cracker into the cheese ball you get the soft, flavorful center plus the crunch of the toppings and are left to wonder why these ever went out of style. Bring back the cheese balls!

 

 

 

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