Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Pinecone Cheeseball: Homemade goodness that looks like a pinecone! Festive appetizer for your fall holiday table!

Pinecone Cheeseball:

1-1/4 cup whole almonds
1 Pkg. cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
5 bacon slices - crisply cooked and crumbled
1 Tablespoon. chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cooking Directions:

Spread almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake at 300 degrees (F.) for 15 minutes, stirring often, until almonds just begin to turn color.

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise, mixing well. Add the bacon, onion, dill and pepper. Mix well. Cover and chill overnight.

Form mixture into shapes of two pinecones on a serving platter. Beginning at the narrow edge (or point), arrange almonds at a slight angle into the cheese mixture, pressing gently in rows. Continue overlapping the rows until all the cheese is covered.

Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices. Makes 1 ½ cups

NOW, here's the fun part , you can change out the ingredients to your liking.  Keep the cream cheese as a base, add mayo or even sour cream or greek yogurt, then play with the rest. Here are some ideas:

*shredded cheddar, dry ranch dressing mix (half packet)red onions, minced

*chopped ham instead of bacon

*just dried dill weed and minced sweet onions

 Chill before serving, 8-24 hrs is best. The flavors will have a chance to mingle.


Turkey Cookie Pops

12 cream filled vanilla cookies such as vanilla Oreo’s
12 Nutter Butter bite size cookies
12 lollipop sticks
1 bag of candy corn
24 small (approx. 3/8 in.) candy eyeballs (found in cupcake decorations isle at craft store)
1 tube of pre-made red icing (not gel)
12 pre-cut  lengths of ribbon to match (approx. 6-8 in. each)

12 blank placecards
Single Paper hole punch

Assembly Directions:   Open two vanilla cream cookies, save each half that has the most cream. 

 Put them together..

Place the now "double stuff" cream filled cookie on a flat surface. 

Gently insert a lollipop stick into the cream between the pieces until will stay in place. Press gently to adhere.

 At the opposite side of the cookie, insert individual pieces of candy corn, pointed side in first, to resemble tail feathers.

(side note= these nutter butter bites can also be used in an edible acorn treat as seen on another of my recent blog posts..check it out)

Carefully separate one side from a bite size nutter butter cookie, so that all or most of the cream is on one side. Use this piece, and cream side down, press gently but firmly to middle of vanilla oreo.

Make sure the lollipop stick is facing down and onto the nutter butter cookie, press two candy eyes with a tiny dab of red icing underneath to glue it in place. The red should not show. I apologize for not having a picture of the candle eyeballs. 

They are usually found with candy and cupcake decorations in your local craft store. Apparently, SOMEONE took them all and I had to make my own, from gum paste and dot them with an edible marker pen. So...use your imagination and creativity if there's a sudden rush on candy eyeballs and you arrive too late.

 Underneath the eyes, in the beak area, make a small oval horizontal shape with red icing, and press part of one candy corn (the smallest tip and part of the middle),onto the right side of the red icing. The red will show on the left side, making the turkey’s “wattle”. Make sure the tip is pointing down for the beak.

Repeat with the remaining 11. Let the cookies set on a flat surface so everything stays in place. When they are ready, carefully tie the ribbon around the stick into a bow, and push toward the cookie.

You may use these as placemarkers, and to do so, write the guests names on each card first, then punch two single holes at middle of top and bottom and insert onto lollipop stick. Lay the cookie on top of the folded napkin to mark the places. OR to make them stand up with even more visual POW...carefully push lollipop stick into a small apple, being sure that it will sit level and not tip over. Tipped over turkeys are sad turkeys.

I'm thinking: for next year, just to mix it up a bit..I'm going to make these "blonde" turkeys but also make some out of regular chocolate oreos and use the "indian corn" candy corn with darker colors. More fun to have some variety in your flock!  Actually is it a flock? I know a bunch of geese is a "gaggle" I have to go look that up...

Making your life a little sweeter,

the Party Hostess Diva

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