Football Cheeseball with Herbed Crackers

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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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


  1. 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.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Combine the butter, rosemary and thyme in a small bowl and microwave until melted.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.