The Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball is simply a delightful and delicious treat! Bursting with vibrant cranberries in every bite and a refreshing hint of orange, it's the ultimate addition to your holiday appetizer lineup. Especially during the bustling holiday season, we all crave recipes that are not only scrumptious but also quick and easy to prepare. Well, this cheese ball checks all the boxes!
It comes together in just a few minutes and can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect contender for your Thanksgiving appetizer spread. Picture it alongside a baked brie or some cranberry brie bites – a trio of holiday flavors that'll surely be the star of your gathering. This cheese ball has a slightly sweet edge that beautifully complements the salty crackers, and when rolled in candied pecans, it becomes irresistibly scrumptious. You can even make your own candied pecans, which is easier than you might think, and they're so delicious that resisting a nibble can be a challenge! But if time's not on your side, no worries – store-bought candied pecans work just as well.
When you present this cheese ball on the table, it's not just an appetizer.
Now, let's talk about the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball's irresistible charm. It's like a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds. The tangy cranberries bring a burst of color and a delightful tartness, beautifully balanced by the zesty notes of fresh orange. And, much like the cranberry orange cheese ball we've just raved about, it's a breeze to prepare, saving you precious time during those busy holiday moments. Just like a well-rehearsed holiday ensemble, this cheese ball is a harmonious blend of sweet and savory. Roll it in those candied pecans, and you'll experience the perfect balance of textures – creamy, crunchy, and utterly delectable. Whether you whip up your candied pecans or opt for the convenience of store-bought, one thing's for sure: this Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball is destined to be a showstopper at your festive gatherings.
Prep time: 15 minutes (+ 30 minutes to chill)
Cook time: n/a
- When you present this cheese ball on the table, it's not just an appetizer.
- Ingredients needed to make Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- How to make Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- Variations on the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball recipe
- Storage for the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- Top tips to know when making Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- Zesty Elegance on a Plate: The Ultimate Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball Recipe
Ingredients needed to make Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- 1-8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 T. water
1 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. orange zest, preferably organic
- ½ c. dried cranberries, chopped and divided½ c. pecans, finely chopped
1 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
To Serve: Selection of crackers, fresh fruit, and/or vegetable crudités
How to make Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
- Add the cream cheese, water, orange juice, orange zest, and one-third cup cranberries to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir to combine. Use a silicon spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, as shown, to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mixture.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on a clean, dry work surface and use the silicon spatula to gently scoop the cream cheese mixture on top of it.
- Wrap the plastic wrap around the cream cheese and gently shape into a ball with your hands. Cover the cheese ball completely in the plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the pecans and fresh parsley with the remaining cranberries in a small bowl until combined.
- Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place the ball on a round serving plate and gently press the cranberry-pecan mixture into the surface to cover.
- Serve immediately with your choice of crackers, fresh fruit, and/or sliced vegetables. Enjoy!
Variations on the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball recipe
here are 10 delightful variations to explore for your Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball recipe:
- Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to give your cheese ball a spicy twist.
- Herb Garden: Roll your cheese ball in a mixture of fresh chopped herbs like parsley, chives, and dill for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Nuts Galore: Instead of pecans, try rolling your cheese ball in crushed almonds, walnuts, or even pistachios for a different nutty crunch.
- Balsamic Bliss: Infuse depth of flavor by drizzling aged balsamic vinegar over your cheese ball before serving.
- Maple Magic: Sweeten things up with a touch of maple syrup in the cheese mixture for a delightful maple-cranberry combination.
- Everything Bagel Blend: Roll your cheese ball in an "everything bagel" seasoning mix for a savory, crunchy coating.
- Goat Cheese Glory: Replace some of the cream cheese with goat cheese for a tangy, creamy variation.
- Dried Fruit Medley: Swap cranberries for other dried fruits like apricots, cherries, or figs for a unique flavor profile.
- Savory Spin: Incorporate finely chopped green onions, crispy bacon bits, and a dash of garlic powder for a savory, loaded cheese ball.
- Holiday Sparkle: For a festive touch, roll your cheese ball in edible glitter or colored sugar to make it shine at holiday gatherings.
Feel free to mix and match these ideas or get creative with your own flavor combinations. The Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball is a canvas for your culinary imagination!
Storage for the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
ou can store your Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. To keep it fresh and maintain its quality, follow these storage tips:
- Wrap It Well: Wrap the cheese ball tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This helps prevent it from absorbing any odors in the fridge and keeps it from drying out.
- Use a Chilled Serving Dish: When you're not serving the cheese ball, keep it on a chilled serving dish or platter. This will help maintain its temperature and freshness.
- Avoid Excessive Moisture: Place a paper towel or a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the container or platter to absorb any excess moisture that may accumulate.
- Keep It Separate: If you have extra toppings or garnishes, store them separately from the cheese ball to maintain their freshness.
- Label and Date: It's a good practice to label the container with the date when you made the cheese ball, so you can keep track of its freshness.
After 3 to 5 days, the cheese ball may start to lose its quality, become less creamy, or absorb unwanted flavors from the fridge
Top tips to know when making Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball
here are 10 top tips to help you perfect your Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball:
- Room Temperature Cheese: Allow the cream cheese and any other cheeses to come to room temperature before mixing. This makes it easier to blend them smoothly.
- Mix Thoroughly: Ensure the cheeses are well combined with the orange zest and cranberries. You don't want any clumps or uneven distribution of ingredients.
- Use Fresh Zest: Grate fresh orange zest for the brightest, most vibrant citrus flavor. Avoid using the white pith, which can be bitter.
- Chill Before Shaping: Once your cheese mixture is ready, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes before shaping. It will firm up and be easier to work with.
- Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality cheeses and fresh cranberries for the best taste and texture.
- Roll with Care: When shaping your cheese ball, handle it gently to avoid crushing the cranberries. Use plastic wrap or parchment paper to help shape and smooth it.
- Double Coating: For a thicker, more even coating of herbs or nuts, roll your cheese ball in the coating, then chill it for a bit and roll it again.
- Plan Ahead: It's best to make your cheese ball ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to meld.
- Serve at the Right Temperature: Take the cheese ball out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften slightly for easy spreading.
- Garnish Creatively: Get creative with garnishes! A drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of dried cranberries, or a few extra orange zest curls can add a beautiful finishing touch.
Now, armed with these tips, you're all set to create a fantastic Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball for your next gathering!
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