With football season right around the corner, it’s time to start planning what to make for your fall party appetizers. It just doesn’t get any cuter than this football-shaped cheese ball! In the South, we love our football-themed treats, and this cheese ball is just as delicious as it is adorable. Complete with sharp Cheddar cheese, spicy horseradish, toasted walnuts, and flavorful hot sauce, this dish is sure to keep everyone coming back for more. After all, there’s nothing better than enjoying tasty cuisine while cheering your team on to victory! Fresh mozzarella cheese doubles as the laces on the football, and simply placing the mixture in a football cake mold creates the perfect shape. Serve it with any of your favorite crudités like celery, carrot sticks, bell peppers, and crackers. This Cheddar-Horseradish Cheese Football is going to be your new pre-game party, tailgate, or autumn potluck favorite. Trust us.

Ingredients

2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
¼ cup prepared horseradish
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
½ (16-oz.) package fresh mozzarella cheese (log-shaped is best)
Water crackers
Celery and carrot sticks, bell peppers

Preparation

1. Beat cream cheese and next 6 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until well combined.

2. Stir together cheddar cheese, horseradish, and cream cheese mixture until combined.

3. Line a 12-inch long football mold with plastic wrap and fill with cream cheese mixture. Place a second piece of plastic wrap over the top and press down lightly to flatten. Chill for 30 minutes, while walnuts are toasting.

4. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and invert cheese mixture onto serving platter. Top with walnuts, pressing lightly to coat.

5. Cut a thin (1/4-inch thick) slice lengthwise from the mozzarella cheese. Cut the slice in half lengthwise. Arrange a strip over each end of the cheeseball to form the stripes on the football.

6. Cut another thin (1/4-inch thick) slice lengthwise from the mozzarella cheese. Cut that slice lengthwise into thin (1/4-inch thick) slices. Arrange 1 (5-inch) long strip down the center of the football. Cut the other strips into 5 (2-inch) pieces. Arrange the 2-inch pieces over the 5-inch strip to form the laces. Serve with water crackers and vegetables.

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