Bacon Sucker Punch Cheese Ball
Cheese balls are categorically an All-American thing. The first recorded cheese ball didn’t shy away from being the center of attention either, as it weighed over half a TON. That's right - 1,235 pounds. Carried from Massachusetts to the White House lawn, it was a gift from Baptist Minister John Leland to President Thomas Jefferson to express his gratitude to the religious freedom the Baptist community enjoyed. Leland used the attention garnered by his enormous ball of cheese as an opportunity to vocalize his support for the abolitionist movement, proudly declaring the cheese ball free of the work of slaves.
So what makes a cheese ball? Basically, ‘Anything, plus Cheese’. Cheese balls can be sweet or savory, smoky, salty, themed, shaped like hedgehogs… the sky is truly the limit. Our cheese ball was a chance for us to highlight our Hoppy Citrus Sucker Punch blend. Inspired by the flavor of beer cheese, Hoppy Citrus Sucker Punch turns the classically ale-flavored pub dish toward more of a sharp, punchy IPA direction. BUT! This formula and ratio is easily adaptable; have fun concocting your own flavor combinations with it. Maybe do a little Bourbon Maple Hops instead, or try our El Paso Hot Chili Powder, leave out the dried fruit and add some corn nuts, then serve with Fritos instead of buttery crackers.
There is definitely a reason the cheese ball has become such an entertaining staple in American households around the holidays. Not only is this dish flexible and allows you to present your favorite, crowd-pleasing flavors, but it's time-friendly and can be prepared a few days in advance in a food processor. Your cheese ball will be ready to go whenever you have company over to munch on while dinner is being prepared. Just be sure to serve with some knives or else leave it out of the fridge for a few minutes so that it’s easy enough to spread!
- 6 Slices of bacon, chopped
- 1/4 Cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 Cup parsley, chopped
- 16oz. Cream cheese, room temperature
- 8oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4oz. Goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Turkish fig, chopped
- 3 Tbsp Hoppy Citrus Sucker Punch
- In a small bowl, combine figs, cranberries, pecans, 2 Tbsp parsley, and half of the bacon and mix well. Set aside.
- Using a food processor, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, goat cheese, Worcestershire sauce, remaining bacon and parsley and 3 Tbsp Hoppy Citrus Sucker Punch and process until smooth (about 2 minutes). Cover and refrigerate 2 hours up to overnight.
- Form mixture into a ball and roll evenly in coating.
- Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies.