Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

It’s no exaggeration to say that cheeseballs speak to my soul. They are my favorite appetizer/snack during the holidays. I suppose I could enjoy them year round but for some reason, they just don’t hold the same allure in, say, July. But December? Bring on the cheeseballs.

I have a classic, go-to cheeseball recipe that has wheedled its way into our gift-giving regimen for neighbors and friends for many years in a row. It’s my father-in-law’s recipe and it’s superb. But. You know. Sometimes when you love something that much, you gotta change it up a bit. And this bacon jalapeño cheeseball has completely stolen my heart.

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

As a little sidenote, apparently in my brain, cheeseball is only one word and it always has been. Even when I call my brother a cheeseball for saying something nice to me and making me happy cry, I think of it as one word. Cheeseball = one word. But when I google “cheeseball” it seems as though the other 99.9999% of the world views it as two words. Hmmm. Where have I been? Now I’m curious, are you a one-word cheeseballer or a mainstream two word cheeseballer? I’m feeling a little self-conscious about it all, I’m not going to lie.

Anyway, this cheeseball (cheese ball) is fantastic. All that creamy and sharp cheese wrapped up in bacon and jalapeños…that’s some kind of cheeseball perfection.

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

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Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball

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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For the outside:

  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled or chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed, finely diced

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese and mix until just combined. Sprinkle garlic powder, cumin, parsley, pepper and Worcestershire sauce over the cheese mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. With lightly greased hands, pat the cheese mixture into a ball.
  3. In a shallow dish, toss together the pecans, bacon and jalapeños. Roll the cheeseball into the mixture, pressing the pecans, bacon and jalapeño lightly into the the cheeseball as you go.
  4. Place the cheeseball on a plate and refrigerate, covered lightly with saran wrap, until ready to serve.

Notes:

This cheeseball can be made and refrigerated, covered, for several days in advance.

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Recipe Source: adapted from my favorite cheeseball recipe and this recipe at Brown Eyed Baker