The panel of judges has voted, and the three winners of the first annual Pitch cheeseball competition are officially elevated to cheeseball history. After careful consideration, Jacquelyn Brittain's sweet "Deconstructed Cookie Ball" was chosen as first-place winner, receiving a $50 gift certificate to Pryde's Old Westport, for a dessert-style holiday ball that can be served with fresh fruit and cookies.
Aaron Shrum's "Give 'Em Hell, Harry" cheeseball recipe — a recipe created and prepared by his grandfather during the Korean War for visiting commander-in-chief Harry S. Truman — getting second-place honors, receiving a $30 Pryde's gift certificate. The third-place honors in the contest went to Celeste Lindell's "Garlic Cheese Ball." Lindell received a $20 Pryde's gift certificate.
Special honors go to all of our other contestants, including Barb Beavers, Kathleen Leighton, Sandy Smith, and Brian Spoonemore.
Each of these cheeseballs makes a great addition to a party tray or as a culinary gift item. The winning recipes follow.
DECONSTRUCTED COOKIE BALL
Two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
Mix first seven ingredients together.Place on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Chill for at least one hour. Just before serving, roll in chopped nuts. Serve with graham crackers.
GIVE 'EM HELL, HARRY CHEESEBALL
1-1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 jar Kraft Old English sharp cheddar cheese spread (the kind sold in small glass jars that make good juice glasses)
1/4 to 1/2 cup blue cheese, according to taste
dash of Worcestershire sauce
onion, diced (enough for 3/4 cup)
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons dried parsley — or more — to coat exterior of ball
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, Old English spread, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, and 1/4 of the parsley and pecans. Chill in refrigerator. Once the cheese mixture is cold enough, it can be formed into a ball and rolled in the remaining parsley and pecans.
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 thinly sliced green onions
splash of Worcestershire sauce
two dashes of Tabasco sauce
2-3 twists of ground black pepper
2 shakes of ground paprika
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Cream together by hand or with a mixer. Form into rough ball with a rubber spatula. Roll in chopped pecans.