I saw these fun little cheese balls in this year’s bacon issue of Food Network Magazine. I thought they were so cute and great for serving at a party, but didn’t want people to worry about having to spread them on something. So I came up with the idea to pop them in a mini phyllo cup and poof….the perfect individual appetizer, no utensils required!
The following makes 45 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Food Network Magazine):
- 1 package turkey bacon
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (fancy shred works well)
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Chopped chives
- Sunflower seeds (no salt added)
- 45 mini phyllo cups, thawed (3 packages of 15 – you can find them in the frozen section of your grocery store)
Preheat oven to 350. Lay a cooling rack inside a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Lay bacon across the cooling rack in one layer. You will have to do this twice depending how many strips you can fit. Bake until crisp (check on the bacon every 10 minutes until it’s done). Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat and bake the final remaining strips of bacon. Allow all the bacon to cool.
While the bacon cools, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Crumble 8 pieces of cooked bacon, and mix in with the cheese mixture.
Roll into 45 mini balls, lay in a single layer on a tray and cool in the fridge. Crumble the remaining bacon and store in a tupperware container in the fridge.
To save myself time, I did all of the above the night before I wanted to serve these.
The next day I baked the thawed phyllo cups at 350 for 5 minutes or so, to crisp them a bit. Remove cups from the oven and cool.
Next, combine some of the crumble bacon you saved, some chopped chives and some sunflower seeds in a bowl – just eyeball it. You can always mix more if you run out, or if you make too much, serve the garnish over a salad for lunch later.
Remove the balls from the fridge and roll in the bacon, chives and sunflower seeds – pressing slightly to adhere. Place one ball in each phyllo cup, and arrange on a platter to serve.