MAKE-AHEAD SNOWMAN CHEESE BALL
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
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1 tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 drops red pepper sauce
1 container (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese, softened
Decorations, if desired (see ideas below)
Assorted crackers, if desired
1. Mix 3 packages cream cheese and the Cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts, two for the snowman’s body and one for his head.
Combine 2 parts (two-thirds of mixture); mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture.
2. 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.
3. About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator.
4. 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.
Expert Tips: You can make this cute little guy up to 1 month ahead. Guests may be a little reluctant to start sampling your delicious creation, so make extra to fill serving bowls to help get them started. Use your imagination to decorate this whimsical snowman! You can use fresh rosemary and dried cranberries (crown), chopped olive pieces or raisins (eyes and buttons), pimiento or red bell pepper (mouth), radicchio or carrot ribbon (scarf), and asparagus spears or celery sticks (arms).