January 19, 2014

Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball

It's that time of year again.  The Superbowl is just two weeks away.

I've only watched a few games this season while my husband and son were watching.  Since I don't watch football very often, my son assumed that I don't know a thing about football.  But, a few weeks ago I popped into the room while they were watching a game.  The quarterback of one of the teams got totally sacked.  I said, "Wow! That was quite a sack!"  My son couldn't believe that I even knew what a sack was. :)  I surprised him with a little of my football knowledge.  You can't grow up with five brothers and not pick up at least a little football knowledge. :)

Today we're watching the conference championships.  I thought it would be nice to try a new snack to munch on while we watch together.  Is Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball a manly enough football snack?

Ingredients (printable recipe)
10 oz. cream cheese, softened enough to stir
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of 2 meyer lemons OR 1 large lemon
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 graham cracker sheet, coarsely crushed
1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in bowl. Stir together with a spoon or spatula until well combined and smooth.
2. Mix in lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball, wrapped tightly. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
4. Coarsely crush the graham cracker and transfer to a plate or bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the crumbs until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves about 6.

*If you have a large group, I would double the recipe. This serves 10-12 people
20 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 4 meyer lemons or 2 large lemons
2 1/2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 graham cracker sheets, coarsely crushed
Same as above, except after mixing together, divide mixture into two cheese balls. Refrigerate at least 3 hrs. Roll each ball into the graham cracker crumbs until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Adapted from Annie's Eats and Kirstin Jackson for NPR

My little cheese ball wrapped up and ready for the refrigerator
Here's the cheese ball after it stayed in the refrigerator overnight. It still stays somewhat soft.
Time to Roll.......

We ate our cheese ball immediately.
And it was devoured!
The Results... 
Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball may not sound like manly football food, but it was a HUGE hit around here.  Everyone gave it a full 5 stars.  We had apples slices and graham crackers with it.  Strawberries, vanilla wafers or animal crackers would also be yummy.  

Lemon Cheesecake Cheese Ball was creamy, not overly sweet and full of fresh lemon flavor.  I really liked the Meyer lemons that I used in this recipe.  Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka supermarket lemon varieties.

Give this a try for your Superbowl party or any get together or just for fun.  You won't be disappointed!

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