Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sausage Cheese Balls - a Christmas must-have

My aunt Joyce used to bring these little goodies to family functions and I couldn't get enough of them. In fact, when I got married, my mother and I made dozens and dozens of these for the reception. My sister-in-law Sharon helped too. They freeze really well, so we made them ahead of time.

These are requested often by friends and former co-workers around this time of year, making them the must-have appetizer/snack of the season. And you only need 4 ingredients. A warning, though. These are messy. But, oh so worth it!

The secret is the Cheese Whiz. I'm not talking about the cheese in a can stuff. This is the kind in a jar. I've had sausage cheese balls that used shredded cheddar cheese, which may be healthier than Cheese Whiz. Okay, it is healthier than Cheese Whiz. But it causes the sausage cheese balls to be dry. Cheese Whiz makes moist, delectable sausage cheese balls. That's why people keep asking for more.

3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Cheese Whiz
1 lb bulk pork sausage, uncooked

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. You'll have to use your hands. Squirt them with non-stick cooking spray before you start mixing. Keep mixing until well combined. Here's a little tip for you so your hands don't freeze. Put the sausage and milk out on the counter for 10-20 minutes before you start mixing them. It will take the chill off without spoiling them.

When everything is thoroughly mixed, use your hands to roll into 1-inch balls. I always take off my rings when I do this because the dough is so sticky. Don't let the stickiness keep you from making these. You'll be glad you did, trust me.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The sausage will cook while these bake, so don't worry about using uncooked sausage.

Remove to wire racks to cool. This recipe will make about 60 sausage cheese balls. If you want to spice them up, use spicy sausage. If want to try a sweeter flavor, go for maple sausage. But don't replace the Cheese Whiz with shredded cheese. Just don't.

These little morsels make a great addition to a party platter or gift plate. If you can bring yourself to give any away.

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