8 slices bacon, crisply cooked
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
SPORTS BALL CHEESE BALL
Throw the ultimate game day buffet by adding this easy appetizer to your party table! Quick and simple, calling for just 7 basic ingredients, this savory cheese ball becomes a “basketball” when molded into a half moon, with a few strips of bacon pressed on top. Creating a treat that goes with your theme has never been so simple…or so delish!
Serve with crackers, pretzels or sliced veggies on the side. The cheese spread tastes particularly good with sliced red bell peppers, mini carrots, cucumber slices and celery. Butter crackers are a great complement as well. And don’t forget to toss in a few flat pretzel chips, too. The salty, buttery flavor makes for a winning combo.
- Finely chop 5 slices of bacon; set aside. Cut remaining 3 slices in half lengthwise to create 6 long thin strips; refrigerate until serving time.
- In a 4-cup Pyrex microwavable measuring cup, place cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups of the Cheddar cheese, the milk, shallots and mustard. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until cheeses are melted and mixture is smooth. Add hot pepper sauce and reserved chopped bacon; stir until combined.
- Generously spray a small PYREX 2.5 QUART MIXING BOWL with cooking spray. Pour cheese mixture into bowl, firmly packing it down with a spatula. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.
- Remove cheese ball from bowl by carefully pushing it out of bowl onto pie plate. Chop remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese into fine pieces. Carefully coat cheese ball with chopped cheese. Use 6 bacon strips to create the lines of a basketball, breaking strips as necessary. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.
MORE RECIPES THAT MAKE A GREAT MATCH
Round out any game day buffet or sport-themed party with these other awesome dishes: