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Pomegranate Macadamia Cheese Ball

Cheese balls are a dime a dozen during the holidays, but this one earns points for being posh. It's creamy, sweet, spicy and studded with pecans and pomegranate seeds. We scoop it up with pita chips, but it can also be served with chutney, jam or high-quality crackers. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    4-1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded smoked white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained and patted dry
  • 1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, divided
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Baked pita chips or assorted crackers

Directions

  • Beat first six ingredients until blended. Beat in cranberries and wine. Stir in pineapple, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts and 3 tablespoons chives. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.
  • In a shallow bowl, toss pomegranate seeds and remaining nuts. Shape cheese mixture into a ball; roll in pomegranate mixture.
  • Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Unwrap; roll in remaining chives. Serve with pita chips.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons cheese mixture: 117 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 141mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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