These individual bite-size Pepper Jelly Cheese Balls are the perfect party food. Herb cream cheese, filled with sweet and spicy pepper jelly, and coated with nutty toasted almonds, then served with their own fun pretzel handles! Kick your party up a notch with these amazing appetizers!
2jalapenosseeded, ribs removed, and finely chopped
1teaspooncoarse ground black pepper
1tablespoonfresh chopped rosemary
A couple grinds of fresh black pepper
½cupsliced almondstoasted and chopped
1teaspoonfresh chopped rosemary
Make the pepper jelly:
Mix all pepper jelly ingredients (vinegar, sugar, chopped peppers, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours or until reduced by a little more than ½, making about 2 cups of pepper jelly.
Allow jelly to cool completely before using it in the cheese balls. It will thicken as it cools.
Prepare the cheese mixture
Combine the softened cream cheese, rosemary, and pepper.
Spoon the mixture into balls, about 2 teaspoons worth, and roll to smooth out. Chill them for 5 minutes.
Using your finger or a small spoon, make a well or indentation in the middle of the cheese balls.
Prepare the cheese balls
On a small plate, combine the chopped toasted almonds and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary.
Pipe or spoon the pepper jelly into the well in the cheese balls. Don't put too much pepper jelly into the hole or you won't be able to close it up. How much to use will depend on how big the hole is. Start small and work your way up. Try starting with just about 1/2 teaspoon of jelly and see how it looks. Once you have a good amount of jelly inside the cheese, gently pinch and seal the opening closed and smooth back into a ball shape.
Roll the cheese balls in the chopped almond mixture.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (up to 3 days).
When ready to serve, insert a pretzel stick into each cheese ball, and place on a serving platter.
The pepper jelly recipe makes more than you will need for the cheese balls. Store the extra pepper jelly in an airtight container like a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.