Entertaining: you either love it or loathe it. No matter how much you enjoy hosting, it can get quite stressful if hungry guests start showing up while you’re still slaving away in the kitchen. Keep the crowd at bay with this festive pumpkin-shaped cheese ball.

If you’re already making pies for any of the upcoming holidays, save some of the extra dough for the crust to make these easy and adorable leaf cracker garnishes. If you don’t have extra pie dough already, store-bought works just fine; and if you don’t need the dough to make a pie you can make a lot more of the leaves and mix them in with the crackers to serve.

PumpkinCheeseBall-1-3aKelsey Kinser

Inspired by this post.

You will need:

16 oz (1lb.) of cream cheese, softened and at room temperature

1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 bunch green onions, sliced thin

unbaked pie crust scraps

1 egg

green food coloring (optional)

Crackers, to serve

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the pie dough (rolled out if it is not already) on the baking sheet. Cut out leaf shapes with a cookie cutter. For further embellishment draw the veins of the leaves with a sharp knife tip.
  2. In a small bowl beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and a couple of drops of green food coloring if using. Brush onto the cut out leaf shapes. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until darker and crisp. Set aside.
  3. While the leaves are baking set aside 1/4 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix the remaining ingredients in a food processor or in a mixing bowl with a large mixer. Place the cream cheese mixture on a sheet of parchment and shape into as round a ball as you can. Roll up the parchment and secure it shut, in a ball shape. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes. Remove from the wax paper and roll the cheese ball in the reserved cheddar cheese. Flatten slightly with your hand to create a slight pumpkin shape.
  4. Garnish with the pie crust leaves and crackers for serving. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving so that the cheese has a chance to soften.
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