Thursday, March 16, 2017

Corned Beef Leprechaun Cheese Ball

I was looking for something to make for our mom's seniors center and came across Handmade In The Heartland (Link HERE) and an super cute leprechaun cheese ball. It was too impressive to pass by. I tweaked the recipe a little to suit our tastes and what ingredients I had on hand but otherwise followed her recipe pretty close. You can see her version HERE (and I recommend you do, her pics are amazing!) 
How perfect is a corned beef cheese ball that looks like a mischievous leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day?? I thought my guy looked a little creepy (kind of like the horror movie version) but he is still perfect. 
If you are on the lookout for something fairly quick and easy to whip up for the office or a party or the fam-damily on March 17th, look no further.  

Corned Beef Leprechaun Cheese Ball
(Ever-so-slightly adapted from Handmade In The Heartland)

Cheese Ball
2 pkgs cream cheese (8 oz each), room temp
110 gr deli corned beef, finely diced (about 1 cup)
3 green onions, finely diced
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp horseradish
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
dash of salt & pepper

1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 parsnip
1 medium carrot 
2 olive slices (ends work best, the pieces that look like stars)

Place softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Add in remaining cheese ball ingredients. 

Beat until well combined. 

Using a spatula, scrape cheese ball together and form into a large ball. Place on serving platter. Chill for an hour. 

When it has firmed up, cut the decorations out of the vegetables using the photo as a guide:
green pepper as the hat, yellow pepper for the square buckle on the hat, red pepper for the smile, parsnip for the nose and the ring around the hat, carrot for the hair and beard, and olive slices for the eyes. 
Use a carrot peeler to take off the outside layer of the carrot and discard it. Then, peel off enough carrot for the hair and beard. 

As you can see, I didn't use olives for the eyes as I didn't have any. What I did have, however, was a little bit of black and white fondant left over from decorating a cake. I just made little balls of fondant and pressed them flat to make the eyes. It is a little weird to put the sweet fondant on a savory cheese ball BUT you don't have to eat the eyes. We just picked them off when we went to eat it. 
FYI - if you do use fondant - DO NOT put the eyes on until you are ready to serve. If you leave the eyes on for a long time the color starts to bleed due to the moisture of the cheese ball. 
If you need help getting the parsnip and yellow pepper bits to stick to the hat, simply spread a very, very thin layer of cream cheese on the back of them and press them onto the pepper. They will stick better. 

Store, covered loosely with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to serve. 
Serve with your favorite crackers or vegetables. 

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