Do you want to be harassed by co-workers? Make this, place it in your staff lounge along with some crackers, and watch your email inbox fill up with requests, nay, demands for the recipe. Soon this will become your signature snack. Plus, if you have to provide a whole table of treats for your place of business, it will lend an air of gravitas to anything else you set beside it. Because people know your heavyset cheeseball rocks hard, they will assume that your lemon bars and croissant bread pudding are off the chain too.
This cheeseball is so adorable that you can fully expect to see your friends huddled around it in a semicircle, cooing over the perfection of its design (I'm sorry, but it's completely perfect), saying things like, "Oh it's just too cute to eat! I don't want to mess it up!" And they will continue standing around politely admiring it until you are forced to squeeze in there and say, "Look people, go ahead and have some," and dive into it yourself. This allows them to swoop in like the flock of vultures they truly are and annihilate your H.S.C.B. Then they will go back to their desks, haunted by the experience to the point of distraction, and that's when your inbox will start filling up with requests/demands from German teachers, band instructors, principals, you name it.
The recipe is by the incomparable Amy Sedaris, from her fantastic book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. If you don't already have it or at least plan to buy it, I don't know what to say to you. If you hate this book, you are not my friend. It's that simple.
Demonstrating the construction of the cheeseball is WSIL News 3 personality and my sister Emily, a.k.a. Poof. Poof, her husband Tyler, my parents, Jeff's parents, his daughter and her boyfriend all showed up on the 4th of July wanting food, and this cheeseball is one of the many items we made for them.
- 1.25 C whole almonds (roasted and lightly salted)
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese <-- 1/3 fat is good, but fat-free is not good
- 1/2 C real mayonnaise <-- light is good, but Miracle Whip is horrifying (why do people buy that stuff?)
- 5 crispy cooked bacon slices, crumbled
- 1/2 t dill weed
- 1 T chopped green onion
- 1/8 t pepper
Mix together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the bacon, pepper, dill, and onion. Chill overnight.
On a serving platter, make two pinecone shapes with the cheese. Begin to press the almonds at a slight angle into the cheese, starting at the narrow end of the pinecone shape. Do this in rows, continuing to overlap rows until all the cheese is covered.
Garnish with fake pine sprigs, or real ones, or with rosemary. Serve at room temperature and spread on (my favorite) sesame crackers, Ritz crackers, tiny snooty toasts, etc.
Stay tuned for further coverage of the 4th of July orgy of gluttony (glorgy).