What Is a Pineapple Cheese Ball?
A pineapple cheese ball is a spherical ball of cream cheese made with pineapple and other flavorings. Usually served with crackers, cheese balls are a kind of spread often used in party platters and snack trays for gatherings and can also be served as appetizers. Pineapple cheese balls offer a sweeter flavor than many other cheese ball alternatives.
Easy to make, there is very little variation in pineapple cheese ball recipes. Crushed canned pineapple is used, either unsweetened or sweetened. It is extremely important the pineapple is well drained because too much liquid will make the cheese ball runny and not firm enough to shape.
Plain cream cheese, green bell peppers, onions, and seasoned salt are also usually included. A combination of red and green bell peppers may be used instead, and onions can be yellow or green. If yellow onions are used they may be chopped or grated, whereas green onions are always chopped.
To prepare the pineapple cheese ball, the cream cheese is first softened. Softening cream cheese allows the cheese to easily mix with other ingredients and can be done simply by leaving it on a counter to warm to near room temperature. Unlike butter, which can be softened in a microwave, microwaving cream cheese is not suggested.
After the cream cheese is softened, all the ingredients are beaten or mixed together in a bowl. Then, the mixture is shaped into a sphere. If the mixture seems too soft to properly shape, it should be chilled for half and hour or an hour to help firm it enough to shape into the desired ball. The completed cheese ball is then refrigerated overnight or, at minimum, for eight hours.
Finely chopped nuts are also included in these cheese balls. Most often pecans are used, but walnuts may be used instead. Depending on the version, some nuts may be included inside the cheese ball. Most pineapple cheese ball versions roll the finished ball in the chopped nuts to coat it. This rolling may be done before or after the ball has chilled overnight.
A pineapple cheese ball can be simple or fancy, depending on its presentation. Often a centerpiece for trays of crackers, they can be garnished with sliced pineapple or maraschino cherries. The crackers may also be arranged artistically around the ball or may simply be placed in stacks. If garnishing the ball, the garnish should be added directly before serving.
Has anyone tried making these with onion powder instead of raw onions?
I did this last time I made cream cheese and pineapple cheese balls and they came out a lot better. I think the raw onion was ruining the flavor. I also used a lot of roasted pecans. I added some to the cream cheese mixture and also topped the cheese balls with pecans before serving. Everyone loved them, it was a total hit!
@SarahGen-- Naturally, cream cheese and pineapple cheese balls have to have these two ingredients. But you can change the amount of the other ingredients, take them out altogether or add new things as per your liking. After all, it's your appetizer.
I personally like the combination of different flavors in this snack. But I don't put as much pineapple or peppers as the recipe calls for. I like using grated red onion and a little bit of cayenne or ground chili for a touch of spice. I roll mine in chopped walnuts instead of pecans. You could also use pine nuts for a change.
Regardless of what ingredients you use, make sure to leave the cheese balls in the fridge overnight. The flavors come out better that way.
Cheese balls with pineapple sound very good, but I'm not a fan of peppers. I also don't like mixing veggies and fruits together in dips and snacks. Can I just leave out the pepper?
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