The author and cook, Heather

The Best Cheese Ball I Ever Ate

Dorothy Outlaw Jones

This is another family recipe!

We like to make this around the holidays, so we have it to share whenever we have friends over throughout the season. (You know, on a normal year.) We always keep one for New Year's Eve, even when we're just watching the countdown from the couch by ourselves. Make it early, wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in a freezer bag, and they'll be just like fresh if you let them warm up a bit on the day you want to eat them. You definitely want to let this mellow at least overnight before you eat it, or the garlic and onion can be a bit harsh.

Serve it with crackers, toasts, or even veggies.

Full Ingredient List

½ lb shredded NY sharp cheddar cheese at room temp

19 oz cream cheese at room temp

2 shakes Tabasco sauce

1 small onion, grated

1 clove garlic, grated (no juice)

~1 cup finely chopped pecans


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello
[00:05]: and welcome to cooking the books with
[00:06]: heather on this episode
[00:08]: we're not going to be cooking from a
[00:10]: cookbook again we've been doing this
[00:11]: quite a bit lately but it's the holidays
[00:13]: and
[00:14]: everybody kind of has those holiday
[00:15]: recipes that are family favorites that
[00:17]: you make that
[00:18]: maybe you don't even know where they
[00:19]: came from originally
[00:21]: that's kind of what we're doing right
[00:22]: now we are going to be making
[00:25]: uh the recipe is called the best cheese
[00:28]: ball i
[00:28]: ever ate and this is another recipe from
[00:31]: my husband's family
[00:32]: um from his aunt dorothy
[00:35]: outlaw jones just
[00:39]: if you care um she doesn't he doesn't
[00:41]: know where she got it from
[00:42]: she would always bring this over on
[00:44]: christmas um her family
[00:46]: joined my husband's family for christmas
[00:49]: eve
[00:50]: and christmas day every year and so he
[00:52]: very much looked forward to having this
[00:54]: cheese ball and we've been making this
[00:57]: cheese ball for quite a while we like to
[00:58]: make it around the holidays and we have
[00:60]: one
[01:01]: on new year's eve um on new year's eve
[01:04]: our tradition is to basically have
[01:06]: a large assortment of snacks
[01:10]: to get us through to midnight now that
[01:12]: we are
[01:14]: older people and have a hard time
[01:15]: staying up particularly this is uh
[01:18]: this is important um so we'd like to
[01:21]: have this
[01:22]: uh on new year's eve the good thing
[01:24]: about this recipe is
[01:26]: it will make two large cheese balls
[01:29]: or we generally make four smaller cheese
[01:32]: balls just because we can't eat a large
[01:33]: one in a
[01:34]: decent amount of time but they freeze
[01:37]: very well and
[01:39]: i'll tell you how i do that um at the
[01:41]: end when we are
[01:43]: done putting this together but for now
[01:45]: all we're gonna do is grate our cheese
[01:48]: uh because the cheese kind of needs to
[01:50]: be at room temperature for it to all mix
[01:52]: up together
[01:53]: and i already have cream cheese you can
[01:56]: see
[01:57]: in my mixer bowl coming to room
[01:60]: temperature
[02:00]: this is approximately 19 ounces the
[02:05]: original recipe calls for
[02:07]: two large and one small block of cream
[02:10]: cheese
[02:12]: i don't believe well i have never seen
[02:15]: these small blocks of cream cheese since
[02:17]: we've been making this
[02:21]: apparently they used to sell cream
[02:22]: cheese in a three ounce
[02:24]: block so the larger blocks the usual
[02:27]: blocks are about eight ounces
[02:28]: and the smaller blocks were three ounces
[02:32]: so whatever it's a little bit less
[02:33]: because i had a partially used cream
[02:35]: cheese in the fridge
[02:36]: and it's fine not a whole lot less
[02:39]: uh so that's what we have here coming to
[02:42]: room temperature
[02:44]: and it calls for new york sharp cheddar
[02:46]: cheese one half
[02:48]: pound of new york sharp cheddar cheese
[02:51]: i don't know when that disappeared from
[02:53]: my local grocery store but i saw
[02:55]: zero new york sharp cheese i know that's
[02:58]: a thing
[02:59]: and i know for years and years i saw it
[03:03]: but i couldn't find it this year so any
[03:06]: sharp cheddar cheese you like will be
[03:08]: absolutely fine i like to go with an
[03:10]: orange cheese
[03:11]: just because it makes the cheese ball a
[03:13]: little bit more of an orange color
[03:15]: you could definitely use white whatever
[03:18]: use whatever you like
[03:22]: we have vermont extra sharp
[03:25]: cheese and i just bought a standard
[03:28]: block of cheese from the dairy section
[03:29]: this isn't anything super special
[03:32]: but it will still be delicious uh so i'm
[03:34]: going to grate this i would not suggest
[03:37]: using pre-grated cheese for this you
[03:40]: really don't want it to be
[03:41]: um pre-grated cheese has a sort of
[03:44]: coating on it to keep it from clumping
[03:46]: together
[03:46]: and which i don't i don't care about i
[03:50]: eat i have pre-grated cheese in my
[03:51]: refrigerator all the time i don't care
[03:54]: but for this you want the cheese to be
[03:56]: able to sort of meld together and become
[03:58]: sort of one
[03:58]: thing and not have chunks of cheese so
[04:01]: that stuff sort of works against you
[04:03]: in that so i've got i've got my um
[04:06]: my food processor fitted with a small
[04:10]: grating blade not necessarily for the
[04:12]: cheese you can grate it at a larger
[04:15]: size i don't care it will come together
[04:18]: once it's room temperature pretty well
[04:19]: no matter what size it's grated at
[04:21]: but we're gonna use the same thing for
[04:24]: another ingredient later
[04:25]: so i just went ahead and just put the
[04:28]: small one on there to only use
[04:30]: only dirty one part of it so we're going
[04:32]: to grate this it's not going to take
[04:34]: long and it's going to be very loud so
[04:37]: i have them cut up into pieces that will
[04:39]: go into the chute
[04:41]: and uh we're gonna grate
[04:44]: okay that's all graded and you always
[04:48]: get some pieces sort of stuck up here
[04:50]: and over there
[04:50]: i am the grandchild of someone who
[04:54]: came from who was who was born in the um
[04:58]: during the depression grew up during the
[04:60]: depression and i don't like to waste
[05:02]: things because i grew up with my
[05:04]: grandmother she lived with us
[05:05]: and yeah so that's a thing i'm gonna
[05:08]: clean
[05:08]: all these little bits out with um
[05:11]: probably a rubber spatula
[05:13]: and i'm gonna put the rest of the cheese
[05:14]: in with my cream cheese and we're gonna
[05:16]: be back in a couple hours when it's sort
[05:18]: of
[05:18]: room temperature and ready to come
[05:21]: together
[05:22]: so we'll see you then our cream cheese
[05:24]: and our cheddar have been sitting in
[05:26]: this bowl for about two hours now aunt
[05:27]: dot said to leave them out overnight
[05:31]: this should be fine um
[05:35]: so the next part is my least favorite
[05:38]: thing to
[05:38]: do in the kitchen ever and we have to
[05:40]: grate an onion now she says
[05:42]: a medium onion i usually use the
[05:44]: smallest onion that i have
[05:46]: and usually i do it by hand and grating
[05:48]: onions is just
[05:49]: the worst because onions like ogres have
[05:52]: layers and they
[05:54]: tend to fall apart while you're trying
[05:55]: to grate it i haven't done this before
[05:57]: but we're going to try just to use
[05:59]: the food processor to grate the onion
[06:03]: so i've just cut it in half so it this
[06:05]: is a yellow onion just
[06:06]: not as anything special it doesn't call
[06:08]: for any particular kind of onion
[06:10]: this is what i always have on hand it's
[06:12]: what i always use
[06:14]: so i'm just going to grate it using this
[06:16]: and we'll see how that
[06:19]: works
[06:22]: seems grated um i'm not gonna get all of
[06:25]: the little bits
[06:26]: on this one but let me take this off and
[06:29]: put it in the
[06:30]: sink because this will be plenty and
[06:34]: oops forgot about that part yes it will
[06:37]: make you cry it's very
[06:41]: so i'm just going to scrape all of this
[06:44]: into the bowl
[06:45]: with the cheeses juice and everything on
[06:49]: this
[06:50]: we're done with our food processor so
[06:52]: i'm going to get rid of that be right
[06:53]: back
[06:55]: so the only other thing we need to add
[06:56]: to this is a
[06:58]: grated clove of garlic um
[07:02]: i'm gonna use a microplane for this she
[07:04]: says no juice on this but
[07:06]: it doesn't get very juicy from my
[07:08]: experience and i'm not
[07:11]: going to squeak put this in cheesecloth
[07:13]: and squeeze it out i'm just not gonna do
[07:14]: it i never do and it's fine
[07:18]: i've kept the the top on this because
[07:20]: you need a little place to hold it and
[07:22]: there's a piece that you don't
[07:24]: use and it's hard to grate to the very
[07:26]: end of these
[07:27]: so there we go
[07:30]: so we have our onion our garlic oh and
[07:33]: the last thing is
[07:34]: she says two strong shakes of tabasco i
[07:37]: have texas pete because we're still
[07:39]: trying to use up
[07:40]: this big bottle in the refrigerator so
[07:44]: there we go should be plenty
[07:47]: i'm gonna get my stand mixer set up here
[07:50]: and we'll be right back
[07:52]: so everything's in my mixing bowl i've
[07:54]: got the paddle attachment and we're just
[07:55]: gonna combine this
[07:56]: until it is pretty homogenous pretty
[07:60]: combined pretty well combined i'm
[08:02]: probably gonna scrape it down a couple
[08:03]: times with
[08:04]: my spatula but uh that's what we're
[08:08]: gonna do right now
[08:17]: so our goal here is to make this pretty
[08:20]: light and spreadable so that when it is
[08:24]: at room temperature
[08:25]: you can put it on a cracker or a piece
[08:28]: of toast
[08:29]: or whatever you want to serve it on so
[08:31]: it takes a little while to get it all
[08:35]: mixed up especially if it's maybe a
[08:37]: little still still a little chilly but
[08:39]: beating it up will help and so we're
[08:42]: going to keep going
[08:43]: for a little while here
[08:47]: i'm going to call that done so i'm going
[08:49]: to scrape everything
[08:50]: into the bowl get ready for the
[08:54]: next piece
[08:59]: all right so what i'm going to do at
[09:01]: this point
[09:07]: i'm going to sort of get this into one
[09:10]: ball in the center
[09:11]: and roughly divide it i still think two
[09:14]: balls is
[09:15]: way more than we can eat divide it into
[09:18]: two portions okay so what i'm gonna do
[09:21]: is i'm going to get a bowl
[09:22]: because we're supposed to put it in a
[09:23]: bowl before we wrap it in plastic wrap
[09:25]: because
[09:26]: this will just stick all over the
[09:27]: plastic wrap i'm going to get a bowl
[09:29]: i'm going to wash my hands thoroughly
[09:32]: with
[09:33]: cold water so they're not too warm
[09:36]: and i will be back to form this into
[09:39]: balls
[09:40]: so i'm going to take roughly half of it
[09:42]: out
[09:43]: and try to form it into a
[09:47]: kind of round ball
[09:50]: um just in my hands
[09:55]: pretty sure i've done this before where
[09:58]: i uh
[10:00]: let it sit a bit too
[10:04]: harden up before i do this but
[10:09]: now everything's going to be covered in
[10:11]: cheese ball so this will taste
[10:14]: very garlicky very um
[10:19]: oniony at first so right now
[10:22]: is not the right time to eat this there
[10:24]: is another step to this
[10:26]: that we'll have to do tomorrow after
[10:28]: this hardens up
[10:29]: but um it's going to be just
[10:32]: very aggressively flavored
[10:37]: right now but those flavors will
[10:40]: soften up will mellow
[10:44]: out as it sits in the refrigerator or in
[10:47]: the freezer because it does
[10:48]: freeze very well and now i have cheese
[10:51]: ball
[10:52]: all over my hands and i did a very poor
[10:54]: job of
[10:57]: deciding how much was half but
[11:01]: i'm gonna call this good for now and i
[11:03]: will reshape them a little bit tomorrow
[11:05]: when they are more solid because we're
[11:08]: going to
[11:09]: cover this in plastic wrap and put it in
[11:12]: the refrigerator
[11:13]: overnight and we'll see you tomorrow
[11:17]: so it's the end of the evening and we
[11:19]: just realized that it's been about two
[11:21]: days since we put our cheese ball in the
[11:23]: refrigerator
[11:24]: to firm up and we have forgotten to
[11:26]: finish them
[11:28]: so we're here to do that i have
[11:32]: about a cup of pecans that i have
[11:36]: used my little whirly pecan nut chopper
[11:40]: thing
[11:40]: on at the fine setting
[11:44]: maybe it's a little finer than the other
[11:46]: setting than the course setting
[11:48]: but you want these pretty small for this
[11:51]: and we're going to cover uh
[11:54]: these cheese balls with the
[11:58]: pecans and then i've got some um
[12:02]: plastic wrap just sort of stuck to the
[12:05]: countertop this one
[12:06]: is just the one that was on top of the
[12:08]: bowl and i'm gonna reuse it
[12:11]: and so i'm going to kind of roll them up
[12:14]: a little bit better
[12:16]: make them make the pecans stick to them
[12:18]: and hopefully this will be enough
[12:20]: there are no measurements for this in
[12:22]: the recipe it's just
[12:23]: enough to cover your your cheese balls
[12:26]: and if you make
[12:28]: the make four of them you'll need just a
[12:30]: little bit more
[12:32]: um than you than you do if you make use
[12:34]: two so we'll see how far a cup gets us
[12:37]: um and these are just raw
[12:40]: plain pecans we have not toasted them
[12:43]: they're not like butter
[12:44]: and salted they are just raw plain
[12:47]: pecans
[12:49]: that's what the recipe calls for just
[12:51]: pecans
[12:53]: so i'm going to get started and i'm
[12:55]: going to get very messy but
[13:01]: see they they stick together and don't
[13:04]: stick to my hands quite as bad now so i
[13:06]: can kind of make it a little bit
[13:08]: more of a ball
[13:12]: and the pecans cover a multitude of sins
[13:15]: so they do not have to be pretty at this
[13:17]: stage
[13:18]: i'm just going to roll them in the
[13:22]: pecans and try to get it as covered as i
[13:24]: can
[13:24]: and yes i'm going to be messy because
[13:27]: that's just how i
[13:28]: am you want these covered but you know
[13:31]: if you miss a
[13:31]: spot it's not a big deal everything will
[13:34]: be just fine
[13:35]: all right so i'm going to put this over
[13:37]: here and after i wash my hands i will
[13:39]: wrap them
[13:41]: in uh in the
[13:44]: in the plastic wrap and then you can
[13:47]: store them in the refrigerator if you're
[13:48]: going to use them
[13:50]: uh pretty quickly uh but if you are
[13:52]: going if you want to keep them for a
[13:54]: while if
[13:54]: um you can put them in the freezer and
[13:58]: you can have it
[13:59]: the next time you want a cheese ball
[14:00]: they do keep very well in the freezer
[14:03]: um i'm not sure how long we've kept them
[14:06]: but definitely over a month
[14:08]: um it's cheese so i know cream cheese
[14:12]: doesn't always
[14:13]: do well texture wise in the freezer but
[14:15]: we've had no problems with these
[14:17]: you will want to let them come warm up a
[14:21]: bit before you
[14:22]: use them just because they will be
[14:25]: easier
[14:26]: to spread on your cracker
[14:30]: but that is it for this step and yep a
[14:33]: cup was
[14:34]: plenty for this so there you go
[14:37]: i have some left over we'll be back to
[14:39]: let you know exactly how they taste
[14:48]: on this episode of cooking the books
[14:50]: with heather you watch my mom make
[14:53]: the best cheese ball i have raped the
[14:56]: adults
[14:56]: love this on crackers and toast points
[15:00]: but today we're giving you our review
[15:05]: so sawyer no sawyer we
[15:11]: trying
[15:20]: okay i'm doing my review while my sister
[15:22]: is eating
[15:24]: now my my dad and my mom
[15:28]: loved it you guys already know from all
[15:32]: the other fancy things that i made
[15:34]: it they made it's 1.5 out of 10.
[15:39]: but i am going to give one compliment to
[15:43]: this
[15:44]: i love that you put some nuts on
[15:48]: um surrounding it so that you kind of
[15:51]: if you don't know what this is you kind
[15:53]: of have to guess like
[15:55]: is it a ball of nuts
[15:59]: or is it a cheese ball
[16:04]: you kind of have to guess i didn't like
[16:07]: that um
[16:08]: it kind of has a bit of bitter taste to
[16:12]: it
[16:13]: like the cheese is my
[16:16]: i hate this type of cheese and then the
[16:20]: nuts
[16:20]: i will eat no matter what where did you
[16:23]: even bite it
[16:27]: you just ate the cheese not the cracker
[16:30]: yeah just bit
[16:31]: a tiny piece of the cheese
[16:37]: it was better than i expected
[16:40]: so i thought it was going to be like
[16:43]: pimento cheese
[16:45]: and i don't like pimento cheese because
[16:47]: it's kind of that color
[16:51]: but it was better than i thought and you
[16:53]: can't really taste the nuts
[16:58]: honestly 5 out of 5 out of 10
[17:01]: 5 out of 5 out of 10.
[17:06]: anyway i'm supposed to say that this
[17:09]: freezes well
[17:10]: and you can make it in like four
[17:14]: small four smaller ones or
[17:17]: one big one or two like my mom and dad
[17:20]: made
[17:21]: or just my mom wow or
[17:24]: ten if you make them really small if you
[17:27]: enjoyed
[17:27]: watching my mom make this recipe don't
[17:30]: forget to like and subscribe and come
[17:32]: back to watch her make
[17:34]: more recipes like this one if you
[17:36]: enjoyed this episode of watching my mom
[17:39]: do this recipe then hit that like button
[17:43]: and don't forget to subscribe
[17:46]: for heart make more things and you
[17:49]: get to watch them so hit that like
[17:56]: button