Pumpkin Patch Cheese Bites

>> Monday, September 16, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Cheese Bites

These cute little cheese balls are fun for a fall party or an appetizer for an afternoon football game. You'll really be surprised how easy they are to make. We gave an appetizer cooking class a week ago, and the pumpkin balls were a hit.

In this cooking demo, Joe also got a chance to talk about his passion for sharp knives, which sounds a little scary, but he really does love cooking with razor-sharp knives. We have two different knife sharpeners, and I begin to drool like one of Pavlov's dogs when I hear him sharpening, because I know something delicious is on its way to the table.

Anyway, back to these appetizers. You can make these several days ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you're ready to serve them. Put the pretzels in last, if you won't be serving them for a while, because they tend to get a little stale. We like our pretzels crunchy.


4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp ground mustard


About 1/4 cup curly parsley leaves
About 15 pretzel sticks, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped pecans

pumpkin-shaped cheese balls


In an electric mixer or food processor, cream the cheeses and spices together until well mixed, about 5 minutes. The mixture is completely mixed when you can no longer see cheese shreds and the mixture resembles dough. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a little milk; if it feels sticky, add a little bit of flour.

Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of cheese mixture, then roll it between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball. This might be easier after chilling the cheese. With a butter knife, press lines into the ball in three angles to look like the ridges on a pumpkin. Press half a pretzel stick into each ball, then press the bottom of the ball in the chopped pecans.

With a toothpick, press small parsley sprigs into the top of the pumpkins to resemble leaves. They should stick pretty easily.

Makes about 30 pumpkin bites.


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