Holiday Cheese Balls

4.77 from 13 votes

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Encrusted with crunchy hazelnuts and sweet, caramelly dates, these Holiday Cheese Balls are going to be your go-to holiday appetizer! This recipe is the perfect marriage between sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy 🤤 – the ultimate combo if you ask me.

Why You’ll Love Holiday Cheese Balls

These Holiday Cheese Balls are not only incredibly easy to make, but they are also perfect for any holiday gathering, potluck, or a relaxing wine night 🍷 at home. You can even prepare them in advance and customize the flavour combo to your liking. Nothing beats a low-effort, low-maintenance app that yields maximum flavor like this recipe.

How to Prepare Holiday Cheese Balls

🌰 Process hazelnuts in a food processor until fine. Then add pitted dates and continue processing until a crumbly sticky texture is formed. Now, transfer the date and nut mixture onto a plate and set aside.

🧀 Unwrap a laughing cow cheese, place it on saran wrap, then and add a teaspoon of the nut and date mixture. Wrap it up and roll it into a ball.

⭐ Unwrap the cheese ball, and then roll it in the nut and date paste, gently pressing to make it stick. Then, repeat the process for the remaining cheese balls.

🌿 Place the cheese balls on a plate and insert a piece of rosemary into each one.

Nonna’s Tip

Enjoy the cheese balls with crackers or 🥖 freshly baked bread! You can also use Boursin cheese or any other creamy cheese of choice.

Hazelnut Cheese Balls

Variations and Substitutions

These 🎄 festive hazelnut cheese balls could be made with almost any soft cheese or nuts. As always, don’t forget to tell me what you try in the comments!

  1. Instead of hazelnuts, you can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, or a mix of your favorite nuts. You could even experiment with 🔥 roasted nuts for a different flavor option.
  2. If you don’t have pitted dates on hand, you could substitute them with something such as dried figs, apricots, or raisins.
  3. I used Laughing Cow cheese in this recipe, but you can try other soft cheeses like cream cheese, goat cheese, Brie, or a 🌿 herbed cheese like Boursin.
  4. Feel free to add a pinch of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the nut and date mixture.
  5. If you or your guests are 🥛 dairy-free or vegan, definitely try a soft dairy-free cheese or a combination of cheeses.
  6. Additionally, if you need a nut-free option, you could try a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or flaxseeds. However, keep in mind that they may have a different texture and taste compared to nuts.

Other Holiday Recipes

Are you hosting a big gathering for the holidays and looking for more 🎄 Christmas recipes to go with your festive hazelnut cheese balls? Check out my other fabulously festive recipes! And don’t forget the gingerbread cookies for 🎅 Santa!

Product Image Description Product Name / Primary Rating / Price Primary Button
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The Perfect Set For Cheese Lovers
Description:

This Cheese Knife Set is a must-have for cheese lovers and those who love to entertain. It includes 6 stainless steel cheese knives with a beautiful teak wood handle.

4.9
$19.99
Kitchen Must Have
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A great food processor is an essential appliance in my kitchen. This is one of my favorite brands.

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$249.95
03/19/2024 04:16 pm GMT

Common Questions

Can I use a different type of cheese for this recipe?

Yes, you can certainly experiment with different soft cheeses like cream cheese, goat cheese, Brie, or a soft herbed cheese like Boursin for a different flavor.

Can I make these cheese balls ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the nut and date mixture and shape the cheese balls ahead of time. Refrigerate them until ready to serve.

Is it possible to make a dairy-free or vegan version of these cheese balls?

Absolutely! Choose a plant-based cream cheese or nut-based cheese, and ensure that all ingredients, including sweeteners, are dairy-free or vegan-friendly.

What can I serve these cheese balls with?

These cheese balls pair well with crackers, sliced baguette, or vegetable sticks.

How long do these cheese balls stay fresh?

Store them in the refrigerator, and they should stay fresh for 2-3 days. However, it’s best to enjoy them soon after preparation for optimal flavor and texture.

Hazelnut Cheese Balls

Holiday Cheese Balls

These Holiday Cheese Balls are not only incredibly easy to make, but they are also perfect for any holiday gathering, potluck, or a relaxing wine night 🍷 at home. You can even prepare them in advance and customize the flavour combo to your liking. Nothing beats a low-effort, low-maintenance app that yields maximum flavor like this recipe.
4.77 from 13 votes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 balls
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 6 laughing cow cheese triangles
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary

Instructions 

  • In a food processor, process the hazelnuts until fine. Add the pitted dates and process until a crumbly sticky texture. Transfer the date and nut mixture onto a plate and set aside.
  • Take the laughing cow cheese, unwrap one and place onto a piece of saran wrap. Put a teaspoon of the nut and date mixture, wrap it up and roll into a ball.
  • Unwrap the cheese ball and roll again into the nut and date paste making sure to gently press so that it sticks.
  • Repeat this step for the remaining cheese balls. Once done, add the cheese balls onto a plate and insert a piece of rosemary into each one. Enjoy with crackers or fresh bread!

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Easy Peasy.
    Make with left over Brie.
    Saved rind for breakfast toast.
    A pinch salt in dates and hazelnuts and
    Wine with a friend.