How to Make a Cheese-and-Crackers Christmas Tree

Skip the same old cheese plate and serve this impressive-looking (and tasting) tree made of cheese instead.

Gather 'Round

This might look like the kind of cheesy centerpiece only an experienced food crafter could pull off, but it's actually deceptively easy. Learn it's assembled in ten simple steps.

Photography by Karen Cohen

Everything You Need

Here's what you need to make this impressive holiday appetizer: cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, shredded Cheddar cheese, a large pretzel rod, chopped fresh parsley, smaller pretzel sticks, mini buttery crackers, sliced almonds and pomegranate seeds.

Make the Cheeseball

Combine the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, shredded cheddar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. 

Give the Tree Structure

It won't look like a tree to start — don't panic. First you have to give it structure. Mound some of the cheese ball mixture on the plate, enough to support the large pretzel rod. 

Form the Tree

Now it's time to play with your food. Use your hands to mold the basic cone shape of a tree. Save some of the cheese mixture to cover the pretzel rod at the top. 

Give It Color

Now to transform your cheese from a white cone into a tree, press chopped fresh parsley onto the surface with your hand. Don't leave any exposed white.

Let It Chill

Give your cheese tree some time to rest and firm up in the refrigerator before you continue decorating. 

Give It Branches

Add a variety of pretzel sticks, mini buttery crackers and sliced almonds all over the tree. Gently press them in, so you don't topple it over.

Light It Up

What’s a tree without sparkling lights? Edible ones are even better. Tuck pomegranate seeds in the branches for the festive "lights."

Some Final Touches

A dusting of Parmesan cheese "snow" completes the look.

Top It Off

Just like any other tree, this one needs a topper, so crown it with a sliced almond. Serve the tree with crackers on the side, and watch your friends and family happily devour all your hard work. 

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Holiday How-Tos