Let’s Start With an Appetizer II

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en Español

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When I think of appetizers, one of the first things that comes to mind is a cheese ball. They come in many flavors, and I’ve never met a cheese ball I didn’t love! Let’s take that comforting, delicious cheese ball up a couple of notches to make it a real holiday showstopper! With the addition of lots of fresh herbs and a beautiful design, folks will be adding it to their Christmas lists!

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

Prep: 30 mins. Servings:16        Yield:1 cheese ball


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup whole almonds, or as needed
  • 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs


  • Step 1

Stir cream cheese, goat cheese, parsley, tarragon, thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl until smooth and well-mixed.

  • Step 2

Turn cheese mixture out onto a serving platter and form into a tapered oval shape to resemble a pine cone.

  • Step 3

Starting at the tapered end, press almonds into the cheese cone so that the tip of the almond is facing out and down, and cheese cone is completely covered with almonds and resembles a pine cone. Place rosemary sprigs at the top to resemble pine needles.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

176 calories; protein 5.6g 11% DV; carbohydrates 2.9g 1% DV; fat 16.4g 25% DV; cholesterol 36.4mg 12% DV; sodium 129.7mg 5%