Sometimes when I imagine something, turning it into reality can be harder than expected and the results are just not what I had pictured. These sheep, on the other hand, were super easy to turn into reality and looked exactly like I had imagined.
Super-de-duper adorable, right?
Eeeeeeeeeeeee! **Insert excited hand clapping here**
I wanted to make something for Easter that would have everyone talking. These little cutie-patooties worked like a charm. And.....guess what.... you can make them too!
I would not lie to you about something as cute as these guys,
They are not that hard (all you need is some patience) and there is no specialized tools involved (unless you count a plastic bendy straw as a specialized tool.)
Plus... our cheese ball recipe is easy peasy and delicious!
Sheep Cheese Balls
1 pkg (8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temp
1 can flaked ham
1 cup aged cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 cup finely diced onion
generous dash of Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper
white cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
whole, pitted olives
black food coloring (or *see note)
crackers (I used Wheat Thins Spinach & Roasted Garlic)
In a large bowl, mix together Philly cream cheese, ham, cheddar cheese, onion, Worcestershire, and salt & pepper until well combined.
Using a small cookie scoop, or pinch off golf ball sized amounts, and roll into a ball.
Continue until the entire mixture has been formed into balls.
Finely shred the white cheese until you have about 1 cup. (Please note - it needs to be very finely shredded!)
Roll each ball into the shredded cheese to coat well. (You may need to shred a little bit more white cheese - it will depend on the size of your balls.)
To make the sheep head and ears - cut an olive in half lengthwise. Place, cut side down, on a cutting surface. Cut the corners off of one half (these are the ears). The other half will be the head. (See photo below for clarification.) You can discard, or eat, the large center piece from the cut half.
For the legs of the sheep - cut an olive in half lengthwise. Slice each half into thin slices horizontally.
For the eyes of the sheep - Cut a 1/8 inch thick (or thinner, if desired) piece of white cheese. Use a plastic straw to press into the cheese. Squish the straw to extrude the cheese. This will be the outer part of the eyes. Dip the flat end of a toothpick into black food coloring (NOTE - if you do not have black, mix 1 drop of red + 1 drop of blue + 1 drop of green to get black.) Gently press the dipped end of the toothpick onto the center of the small cheese circles for pupils.
Assemble your sheep - (Step 1) Place 4 slices of olive on a cracker for legs.
(Step 2) Place a cheese ball firmly on top of the cracker, making sure to cover half of the legs.
(Step 3) Firmly - but without squishing the ball - press on the sheep's head and 2 ears.
(Step 4) Very carefully place the eyes on the sheep's head. (You may find it helpful to dip a toothpick in a teeny bit of cream cheese and place it on the back of the eye to get it to stick to the olive.)
(See photo below for clarification.)
Chill until ready to serve.
They each have their own personality.
On a serving platter they make a pretty cute appetizer.
If you find you are getting frustrated putting the eyes on then I just wanted to show you that they work without eyes too...
They just lose a smidge of their cuteness factor.
Yes..... they are a little fidgety BUT are sooooo worth the effort. Make them with a helper and the time will be cut in half. I believe I got a total of 24 or so balls out of this recipe using a small cookie scoop. I only made a dozen sheep and then just stacked the rest of the cheese balls in the center of the plate because I didn't have a helper and was beginning to run out of patience. :)
P.S. - these also work for celebrating the Year of The Sheep (Ram/Goat) on the Chinese Zodiac.
Be sure to visit these fun and fabulous linky parties - Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Carole's Chatter, My Turn (for us), Wondermom Wannabe, Cookin' and Craftin',