The Great Local Palate Cheese Ball

Published 2:30 am Saturday, December 16, 2017

Everyone probably has their favorite cheese ball recipe for Christmas but since I do not, I thought I would try one that would be easy and tasty.

The ‘Local Palate’ magazine had one that they said would please everyone and it did look good. This was a stress-free appetizer which you can prep the night before. It uses roasted garlic (which of course has to be done ahead) with soft cream cheese and gruyere so you do not even have to get out the mixer. If pressed for time you can get a guest to dress the ball with the salted almonds.

I did this cheese ball the night before and took it to church for coffee hour since my husband and I could not eat all that cheese. It was good and added to the table a little something that was not sweet (since that seems to be all that is at coffee hour these days). But children do love their sweets!!

So if you need a quick appetizer to take to that holiday party this is for you.


From the ‘Local Palate’ Dec. / Jan. 2018

Holiday Cheese Ball

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces shredded gruyere

4-5 roasted garlic cloves (I just did the whole pod since it was easier)

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Kosher salt

2 (6-ounce) cans smoked almonds

Soften Cream Cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with paddle attachment, or by hand, beat cheese until softened. It is easy to do my hand.

Crush Garlic

Using a fork, mash roasted garlic cloves until they resemble a paste and you have 2 tablespoons.

Mix Together

Add all ingredients except salt and almonds to softened cream cheese and mix well until combined. Check seasoning and add salt is needed.

Turn It Out

Turn out the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Pull ends of plastic wrap around mixture and twist closed, forming into a ball.


Once the mixture is formed into a ball, refrigerate in the plastic wrap for at least 2 hours. Preferably overnight to let the flavors meld.

Top and Serve

Remove cheese ball from plastic and arrange almonds over surface, starting at the top and working downward in staggered rings to resemble a pinecone. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette. I put extra roasted almonds on the side so even if your pat of cheese didn’t have one, you could add an almond.