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Pecan Cranberry Cheese Ball

Who doesn't love a good cheese ball?

And this Pecan Cranberry Cheese Ball is a delightful blend of sweet (from the cranberries) and savory (from the cheddar cheese, chives and garlic powder).

If there's something you don't like in the ingredient list, feel free to substitute or try new combinations. Goat cheese works in place of cream cheese, and you can use walnuts or pistachios instead of pecans.

It comes together quickly — about 20 minutes or so — and makes a beautiful presentation.

This festive version is perfect for a nibble during the holidays.

Pecan Cranberry Cheese Ball

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup white cheddar cheese

1 cup dried cranberries, divided

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (toasting optional), divided

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions, divided

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Crackers for serving

1. To toast pecans, preheat oven to 375 F. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ½ cup of pecans, ½ cup of cranberries, chives or green onions and garlic powder until well combined.

3. Place mixture in the center of a piece of wax paper and cover completely with wrap while forming into a ball shape. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

4. Just before serving, combine remaining pecans, cranberries and 2 tablespoons chives or green onions on a flat surface. Unwrap cheese ball and roll in cranberry-pecan mixture.

5. Serve with crackers.