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Brandy & Date Cheese Ball Pops

 Brandy & Date Cheese Ball Pops
For a fun and different presentation for cheese balls, try my cheese pops. The brandy and dates add a sweetness, while the almonds and bacon add a complementary crunch.—Ginger Kohutek, Weslaco, Texas
24 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1 package (2-1/4 ounces) sliced almonds, chopped and toasted
  • 12 bacon strips, cooked and finely crumbled
  • 24 lollipop sticks
  • Assorted crackers

Directions

  • In a small bowl, beat the cheddar cheese, butter, cream cheese and
  • brandy until well blended. Stir in dates. Shape into twenty-four
  • 1-in. balls. Place almonds and bacon in separate shallow bowls. Roll
  • half of the cheese balls in almonds; roll remaining balls in bacon.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
  • Insert lollipop sticks into cheese balls. Serve with crackers. Yield:
  • 2 dozen.
Nutritional Facts: 1 cheese pop (calculated without crackers) equals 137 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 167 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.