Bacon & Smoked Gouda Cheese Ball (Nuts Optional)
Servings: 1 ball (serves about 20 at a party)
For the Cheese Ball
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups smoked Gouda grated
- 10-15 grinds black pepper use smallest setting on the grinder
- 1 Tbsp. bacon crumbles I used Kirkland pre-cooked
- 1/2 tsp. minced chives
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
Roll Ball In
- 1 cup bacon crumbles or chopped pecans
In a medium mixing bowl use a fork to mash all ingredients except bacon/pecans to roll the cheese ball in.
Use a spatula to scrape the cheese mixture out unto a large piece of cling wrap. Use your hands to mold the cheese into a ball inside of the plastic wrap. If you have time, refrigerate the ball for an hour or so to firm it up. If not proceed to the next step.
Gently unmold the cling wrap from the ball and place it on a bed of bacon or pecans. Roll the ball until every side is covered in the coating. If there are a few bare spots press bacon in gently to cover.
Serve with a variety of crackers.
1. Make the ball a day or so ahead so the flavor has time to develop a bit.
2. If you choose to roll the ball in pecans try adding 4 Tbsp. of bacon to the ball instead of 1 to up the bacon flavor.
3. For a variation try using ½ cup of pecans and ½ cup of bacon to roll the ball. Either mix them together before rolling or do half the ball in pecans and half in bacon. Have fun with it!