Festive and flavorful, these bite-sized mango chutney cheese balls are almost too adorable to gobble up.
1½ hrs. + chilling time
- ⅓ cup chive & onion cream cheese spread
- ⅓ cup + ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, about 5 oz.
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 3 Tbs. mango chutney
- 2 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
- 3 canned pitted black olives, halved lengthwise
- 6 slices extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 2 large apples, preferably Gala
- 12 slices pumpernickel cocktail bread
- 12 large parsley leaves
- Make cheese balls: Mix cream cheese spread, ⅓ cup Jack cheese, scallion and 1 Tbs. chutney. Evenly divide mixture into 12 portions (about 2 tsp. per); roll into balls. Chop ¾ cup Jack cheese. Roll each cheese ball in chopped cheese; flatten slightly. For beaks, cut tiny triangles from carrots. For eyes, cut pieces from olives; place on cheese balls. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm.
- Make cheese flowers: Meanwhile, using 2⅛” flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 2 flowers from each slice Cheddar cheese; place on plate or baking sheet. Cover; refrigerate.
- Assemble: Just before serving, in small bowl, combine lemon juice with ¼ cup water. Cut thin slices lengthwise from apples and core. Using 2¼” flower-shaped cutter, cut 12 flowers and dip into lemon-water. Remove; pat dry with paper towels. From apple peel, cut out wattles; attach to cheese balls. Spread about ½ tsp. of remaining mango chutney over each bread slice. Top with apple flower, Cheddar flower, parsley leaf and turkey cheese ball.