Mini Cheese Ball Pumpkins

I turned the mixture I used to make a regular cheddar cheese ball into these bite-sized mini cheese balls. When coated in crushed cracker crumbs and pushed down in the center, the squat shape is reminiscent of a pumpkin. Serve them as is, or set them on thin crackers. This recipe is from photo- and recipe-rick book Everyone Can Cook for Celebrations.

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: none

Makes: 24–30 pumpkins


1 8 oz (250 g) brick cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup walnut pieces, very finely chopped
2 tsp hot horseradish
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 cup finely crushed orange coloured crackers (see Note)
24 pieces green bell pepper, each 1/2-inch long and 1/8-inch  wide

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until lightened. Mix in the cheddar cheese, onion, walnuts, horseradish, Worcestershire and salt. Lightly dampen your hands with cold water. Shape the cheese mixture into ¾-inch (2 cm) balls and set on one of the baking sheets.

2. Place the cracker crumbs on a wide plate. Coat one of the cheese balls in the crumbs, gently pressing them on to help them adhere and shaping the ball so it has a nice round shape. Set it on the clean baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cheese balls. Gently push down in the center of each cheese ball to give it a pumpkin shape. Make a stem by inserting a piece of green pepper into the center of each cheese ball. Tent with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cheese balls at least two hours before serving. The cheese balls can be made up to a day in advance.

Eric’s options: Instead of walnuts, use pecans.

Note: I use goldfish snack crackers for the coating, but any crisp, orange-colored cracker would work. I crush the crackers in a food processor; 1 cup (250 mL) of these crackers, when crushed, yielded the crumbs I needed.