Monday, January 9, 2012

Sausage Cheeseballs

One of my favorite appetizers/snacks is sausage cheeseballs!  My mom has made it for years, and I love them!  She used to keep some in the freezer, ready for a snack-on-a-whim.

Pinterest has been showing a different version of the sausage cheeseball which sounds really yummy.

I recently made BOTH versions.




Basic Sausage Cheeseballs

Ingredients:
2 cups Bisquick mix (I have also used the Jiffy all purpose baking mix)
2 cups shredded cheese (my favorite is the Mexican/fiesta four cheese)
1 pound bulk sausage in a tube (In the South, I use Jimmy Dean; up North, I use Bob Evans.  I like the Hot variety, but I will also use regular flavor when taking to parties.)

Procedure:
Mix thoroughly.  If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer, use it!  Form into 1" balls.  I like to spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

You can also freeze uncooked sausage balls and bake for a longer period of time.


New Sausage Cheeseballs with Cream Cheese

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups Bisquick mix
1 cup shredded cheese
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 pound bulk sausage in a tube

Procedure:
Mix thoroughly.  Use your Kitchen Aid mixer if you have one.  These directions said to use the dough hook attachment.  I used to always use the paddle attachment, but I tried the dough hook and it works just as well, but easier clean-up. So, dough hook wins!  You will have to crank up the speed to make it mix well and relatively quickly.  Just be careful not to make it go too fast or it will spatter.  <wishing I had one of those covers>  Form into 1" balls.  Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.  I'm sure these can be frozen uncooked as well.


If you'll notice in the picture above, there are two very different looking sausage balls on the plate.  You may initially think that one is the regular recipe and the other is the new recipe.  Actually both are the new recipe, which doesn't look MUCH different from the regular.

On the left is a sausage ball that was baked the normal way, being placed on the pan.  The one on the right is a sausage ball that was baked in my new and improved way:  on top of a wire rack in a roasting pan.


I put aluminum foil in the pan to catch the grease and allow for easier cleanup.  I then set the wire rack on top and sprayed with Pam.  The rack will hold 28 sausage balls at a time.  It will leave two parallel lines in the sausage balls, but I think it makes it much more attractive to eat than that dark spot on the bottom.  That has ALWAYS bugged me

I bought the pan at Walmart.  I was actually looking for something else when I spotted it.  The wire rack originally came with little plastic feet on the bottom.  Before I used it, I looked very carefully at the label to see if there were any instructions about a heat limit; there were none.  I first made the regular sausage cheeseballs which are baked at 375.  No problems.  I then made the new ones which are baked at 400.  That's when I noticed that the plastic feet were melting!  I think because they came into contact with the hot sausage grease.  My husband said to throw that batch out (we weren't sure about danger from plastic fumes).  After the rack cooled, I popped off the plastic feet and resumed baking with no trouble.  It's a really nice pan, otherwise.

My husband has never really liked the sausage cheeseballs.  Just about every time I've ever made them, they've been a big hit.  It was kinda funny last year when Robert volunteered us to make the snacks for our then Sunday School class (I now am in the nursery and Robert is in the main adult class with our pastor.).  He wanted me to make an apple cake that our neighbor had made and shared with us.  I wanted to make the sausage cheeseballs.  I made both and Robert was a little chagrined to find out that the sausage cheeseballs made a bigger splash.  He said, "I guess I read that crowd wrong!"  (Interestingly enough, although I liked the apple cake, I'm not a huge fan of it.  Different strokes for different folks.)

Anyway, so I made these two variations of the sausage cheeseballs and offered both kinds to Robert to try.  He definitely likes the newer one better, though I'm not sure if he would like them enough to ask for them.  I like both equally, but I'll probably make the newer one since Robert likes them better.  Unless I'm in a mood where I don't want to share, then I'll make the regular ones.

Oh, I forgot to add that the sausage cheeseballs (both varieties) passed the Gracie Approved test, too! (A girl after my own heart!)

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