Friday, March 15, 2013

Honeyed Fruit Cheese ball

Day 20

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
Working with nice people is such a blessing, and I’ve been so fortunate with wonderful co-workers over the years, no matter my workplace. Whenever we share potluck meals, I like to try recipes that are personal and special to me. For obvious reasons, these are the best recipes to share at such events, and they also offer a nice way to get honest feedback about a recipe’s likeability factor. 

Recently at work, we had a potluck breakfast, and I tried to think of something to serve that would be different, attractive, and very tasty. I noticed that people were signing up for breads, eggs, and fruits right away, so I decided that a cream cheese and fruit base might be nice for a group breakfast. 

Because I love making dishes to serve as hors d’oeuvres, even for breakfast, my recipe for a Honeyed Fruit Cheese Ball came to mind. It’s creamy, sweet, and filled with pleasing textures and flavors. I like to serve this cheese ball on lightly sweetened tea biscuits or on graham crackers. 

I actually developed a taste for cheese balls when I was a child. To celebrate New Year’s Eve every year of my childhood, my parents, grandparents, and some of my aunts and uncles on my father’s side were invited to the home of my grandmother’s friend. This lady was a truly quintessential Southern hostess who prepared and served the perfect hors d’oeuvres and always led the evening with the grace and charm expected of her class. 

The only children in attendance were three: my cousin, the hostess’ grandson, and I. Knowing we might be bored with the adult conversation, the hostess’ adult daughter would invite us into another living room to sit and listen to her true ghost stories. Of course, that delighted us, as we gathered at her feet to be regaled by tales of hauntings and spirits. We absolutely loved listening, but we really paid a price afterward. I remember being terrified of my own shadow well into February each year. 

Anyway, at the New Year’s Eve party, the only thing that lured me from the ghost stories was the food table. There was always an incredible lime sherbet punch, mini teacakes, mini chicken salad sandwiches, bite-size ham biscuits, and a cheese ball. The cheese ball was definitely my favorite, and I’d be excited to see it on the table every time we arrived for New Year’s Eve. 

Because of that memory, I’ve tested and tasted at least 15 different cheese ball recipes over the years. Although I’m not sure of the exact ingredients of the cheese ball that triggered my quest, I have enjoyed trying and searching through some really outstanding recipes. This honeyed cheese ball is so versatile that it has become one of my favorites. It can easily compliment food served at evening or morning events. 

I think you’ll enjoy this dish at your next brunch or party too. Once you make it, you’ll see how easy homemade cheese balls really are, and maybe you will opt to make your own instead of buying the store bought varieties. 

Honeyed Fruit Cheese ball 


1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar
1 tbs. honey
6 oz. pkg. dried berries (blueberries, cherries, cranberries, diced strawberries)
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tbs. turbinado sugar


Mix cream cheese, cheddar, and honey until well blended and smooth. Add berries and mix thoroughly. Form into a ball, pressing firmly. Mix nuts and turbinado sugar on a large plate. Roll cheese ball in nut mixture until coated thoroughly. 

Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. 

When ready to serve, place on serving platter, surrounded by tea biscuits or graham crackers. Enjoy!

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