This is a great do ahead appetizer. After shaping cheese mixtures on the cookie sheet, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, label and freeze up to one month. Twelve hours before serving, remove the trees from the freezer. Thaw in wrapper in the refrigerator. Continue as directed.
Here's an idea the kids will love! Instead of trees, make snowmen! Shape the cheese mixture into a Snowman Cheese Ball (you'll have enough to make 2 small snowmen or 1 large one). Omit parsley, pine nuts and bell pepper. Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts. Mix 2 parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third of cheese mixture. Refrigerate as directed. Shape each cheese mixture into 2 balls; roll in 1/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds. Arrange balls on serving plate with smaller ball on top for head of snowman; press together slightly. Insert pretzel sticks for arms. Decorate as desired with capers, sliced olives, chopped carrots, sliced cucumber, chopped bell peppers and fresh thyme leaves.