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Wise (& Cheesy) Owl

Owls are nocturnal animals, meaning they come out only at night. The same rules do not apply to owl-shaped cheese balls; this guy makes a fitting afternoon party snack.

Ingredients

Wise (& Cheesy) Owl

Cheeseball

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt

1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For decorating the owl:

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see page 94)

2 small round butter crackers, such as Ritz Bits

2 small pitted black olives, sliced

1 carrot

2 scoop-shaped corn chips, such as Fritos Scoops!

crackers, for serving

Directions

1. a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, shallots, mustard, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Set aside 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture; you’ll need this for the eyes. Form the remaining mixture into an owl shape—it should look like a large egg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. When ready to serve, layer the almonds around the back and sides of the owl for the feathers, leaving the breast area plain. To make the eyes, spread each small butter cracker with half of the reserved cream cheese mixture, and stick an olive slice in the middle. Affix the eyes to where the owl’s face will be. To make the beak, slice two 1⁄4-inch pieces of the carrot into triangles, and make a mouth below the owl’s eyes. To make the feet, slice 6 slivers from the remaining carrot and arrange at the bottom of the owl. Finish the owl by pressing the 2 corn chips into the head for ears.

Serve with crackers.

Serves 15 to 20

Excerpted from GREAT BALLS OF CHEESE, © 2013 by Michelle Buffardi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photos: © Jason Wyche

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