Texas peppr jelly Christmas logo Christmas is coming, y’all. It’s time to start getting ready for it!

One way to start is to get your cheese balls ready, because you can wrap them up tightly and store them in your freezer! Then when you need them, just get them OUT of the freezer and let them sit on the kitchen counter a few hours before you serve them. Easy peasy.

Texas Pepper Jelly’s Pineapple Habanero Pecan Cheese Ball is my personal favorite. I’ve got four of them in my freezer as we speak. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 2oz jar Pineapple Habanero Pepper JellyPineapple Habanero pepper jelly
1/4 cup finely shredded pineapple
1 tablespoon finely diced onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup crisp bacon, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

What to do:

In a large bowl, put all the ingredients except the butter and pecans.

With your hands (WASH THEM FIRST!) mix all those ingredients as thoroughly as possible. Your hands are going to be all stick and cheesy and you’ll have to scrape your fingers with a butter knife. It’s wonderful.

Oh, you can use your stand mixer. Sissy.

Once you’ve got everything completely blended, shape into balls. This recipe makes one standard cheese ball or several little balls. It’s your party; you decide.

While the balls are “setting,” get out a pie pan and melt the butter in it. Put the pecan pieces in the pan of melted butter and spread ’em out evenly.

Pick up your cheese ball, or one of your cheese balls, and roll it around in the buttered pecans until the ball is coated. Place the ball (or balls) on a saucer (or saucers) and refrigerate overnight. If you plan to serve the balls within a day or two, just keep it (or them) in the fridge. If, like me, you are planning ahead, put the cheese balls in freezer bags and place in your freezer until it’s time.

Cheese balls are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Serve with crackers. We like those snowflake-shaped Ritz crackers and Wheat Thins, but as you well know, any kind of cracker works with a cheese ball.

As do raw veggies, and the more the merrier.

cheese ballI plan to have about six cheese balls in a row on my huge holiday platter, surrounded by a variety of veggies and crackers.