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Football Cheese Ball

This football cheese ball is thrice infused with bacon—the jalapeño is cooked in bacon drippings, there’s bacon mixed into the cheese, and bacon covers the football. Pig out.–Michelle Buffardi

LC Piggish Note

You may have noticed that the serving size for Michelle’s football cheese ball is rather all over the place. Intentionally so. It all depends on just how piggish you care to be. And we don’t mean that in a bad way. Nope. Not at all.

Football Cheese Ball Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 2 H, 40 M
  • Serves 12 to 20

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon
  • 1 to 2 medium jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped (if you want extra heat, retain some of the seeds)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped scallions (light green and white parts)
  • Crackers, for serving

Directions

  • 1. Rev up the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • 2. Place the bacon slices in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with foil. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Spoon 2 tablespoons bacon drippings into a skillet and reserve the rest of the drippings for another use. Once the bacon has cooled, coarsely chop it.
  • 3. Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapeño and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • 4. Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together 1 cup chopped bacon, the sautéed jalapeño, the cream cheese, Cheddar, and the scallions until combined. Scrape the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and, using the plastic wrap to keep your hands from getting messy, shape the mixture into a round ball. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • 5. Just before serving, with the cheese ball still wrapped in plastic, form it into an oblong football shape as best you can. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll it in the remaining chopped bacon to coat it completely. Strategically place a few strands of Cheddar cheese on the football to resemble laces. Serve with crackers and be ready for cheers.
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