Football Cheeseball with Herbed Crackers

Recipe courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli
Show: Valerie's Home Cooking | Episode: Touchdown!
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Total:
3 hr
Active:
40 min
Yield:
12 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded 
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce 
  • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 medium shallot, minced 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme 
  • One 9.1-ounce box whole-wheat crackers, such as Wheat Thins 
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts 
  • 1 piece white string cheese 
  • Vegetable crudites, for serving
Football Cheeseball with Herbed Crackers

Directions

Combine the cream cheese, Cheddar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and shallots in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large sheet of plastic wrap, cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and form into a football shape. Wrap up in the plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the butter, rosemary and thyme in a small bowl and microwave until melted.

Lay the crackers out on two baking sheets. Brush the tops with about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the herb butter. Bake until fragrant and a shade darker, about 10 minutes. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to eat. (The crackers can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

Toss the walnuts with the remaining herb butter and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, then finely chop.

Unwrap the cheese ball and cover completely with the walnuts. Transfer to a serving dish. Separate the string cheese into strands and arrange them to look like the laces on a football. Serve with the herbed crackers and crudites.