Savory Cocktail Tree
Rows of pimiento cheese balls, colossal olives, and wheat crackers create this one-stop hors d'oeuvre tree. All you need to enhance it is a glass of Chardonnay
Yield: 7 dozen cheese balls
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups (12 ounces) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained well
- Coatings: chopped fresh parsley, finely chopped toasted pecans
- 1 (12
- 2 (8-ounce) tubs cream cheese, softened
- Chopped fresh parsley
- 1 (10-ounce) package baked bite-size whole wheat snack crackers
- 2 (7-ounce) jars large pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
- 1 large sweet red pepper, cut in half lengthwise
- Cook onion and garlic in butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until tender. Add wine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated.Set aside.
- Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add shredded Cheddar cheese and 2 packages (11 ounces) cream cheese. Process until cheeses form a ball, stopping once to scrape down sides. Remove mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in onion mixture and pimiento. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.
- Shape mixture into 3/4" balls. Place cheese balls on a wax paper-lined jellyroll pan. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
- Roll half of chilled balls in parsley and half in pecans. Cover and chill until firm.
- Wrap plastic wrap around Styrofoam cone, sealing completely. Spread softened tub cream cheese over plastic wrap-coated cone, covering cone completely and making a 1/2"-thick layer. Sprinkle coated cone with chopped parsley.
- Press a circular row of crackers into the cream cheese-coated cone at the base. Attach a circular row of cheese balls at base of cone just above cracker layer, using wooden picks. Attach a circular row of olives above row of cheese balls, using wooden picks. Gently press another row of crackers into the cream cheese-coated cone, creating a shingled effect. Repeat procedure, working in circular rows and covering cone completely.
- Cut a large star shape out of each pepper half, using a sharp knife. Secure with a wooden pick at top of tree. Serve remaining cheese balls on crackers around base of tree.
- Note: For bite-size whole wheat snack crackers, we used Wheat Thins.
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