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Appetizer Cheese Trees

Enjoy this creatively made cheese spread - a delicious appetizer perfect for Christmas celebration.

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  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 30 min
  • Servings 28

Ingredients

3
packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4
cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
2
tablespoons pesto
1
tablespoon grated onion
1/4
teaspoon ground mustard (dry)
2
or 3 drops red pepper sauce

Have ready at serving time:

1/4
cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4
cup pine nuts
2
tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
Assorted crackers, if desired

SAVE ON THIS RECIPE!

LOCATION

Directions

  • 1 Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese; divide in half. Mix pesto into 1 half; mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into other half. Cover each half and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape.
  • 2 Place cheese mixtures on cookie sheet. Shape each half into cone shape to look like Christmas tree. Roll trees in parsley, pressing parsley evenly onto trees. Press pine nuts onto trees in string form for garland. Press bell pepper pieces onto trees for ornaments. Top each tree with star shape cut from lemon peel if desired. Serve with crackers.

EXPERT TIPS

Expert Tips

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.

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View Full Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1/4 Cup
Calories
155
(
Calories from Fat
125),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
14g
14%
(Saturated Fat
9g,
9%
),
Cholesterol
45mg
45%;
Sodium
180mg
180%;
Total Carbohydrate
1g
1%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
),
Protein
6g
6%
;
% Daily Value*:
Iron
2%;
Exchanges:
1 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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© 2013 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

Nutrition information is calculated at the time recipes are created. We do not include optional ingredients in our calculations.
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