2: 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded*
¾ cup canned pumpkin (optional)
¼ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
*can actually use any of your favorite soft cheese or hard cheese (shredded)
Combine cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, the pumpkin, butter, sage, paprika, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Beat with a mixer on medium until fluffy. Chill, covered, 4 to 24 hours.
Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a ball. Unwrap; roll ball in remaining 3/4 cup cheddar. Serve with crackers. Serves 24.
To shape into a pumpkin:
After rolling the cheese ball in the remaining cheddar cheese, rewrap the ball in plastic wrap. Place a few rubber bands vertically around the cheese ball to form ridges. Chill 30 minutes. Before serving finish with a few more sprinkles of shreaded cheese, sage leaves and a pickled green bean 'stem' (or stem from a green pepper) to complete the pumpkin cheese ball look.