If you want to take a delicious and creative side dish to your next family or friends’ gathering, I have the perfect recipe for you! This Pine Cone Cheese Ball recipe, is just as its name describes: a ball of cheese shaped into a pine cone, topped with almonds and a pine bough to finish the look. If you tuned into my podcast last week, Real Life with Maria and Kristina, you heard us raving about it! My mom, Suzanne, perfected the recipe and served it at our church’s Christmas brunch. It was the :”awe factor.”
Pine Cone Cheese Ball
2 packages cream cheese, softened at room temp.
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp. honey
1 tsp. dill weed
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. Paprika
10 bacon strips
2 Tbsp. onion, finely minced
2 cups almond slices
assorted raw veggies
In a large skillet, cook the bacon slices. While the bacon is cooking, in a medium size bowl, add all other ingredients except the onion and almonds. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended.
Remove the cooked bacon onto several paper towels and blot. After the bacon has cooled, crumble it or mince it with a knife. Add the onion to the skillet with the bacon grease and sauté. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the cheese mixture. Fold the onions and the bacon into the cheese mixture.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 or more hours until the dip is more firm. Then plop cheese mixture onto a plate and form with a spoon into a pine cone shape, about 2 inches in height.
Starting at the top of the cone, stick in almond slices, pointed end up, to resemble the bark on a pine cone. Every row should “peek” between the one above above it so the almonds are not directly behind each other. Garnish with small pine sprigs.
Serve with your favorite assorted veggies or nourishing crackers!