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Why my Gingerbread Cheeseball Makes Gingerbread Men Jealous

Gingerbread ball Berk hand-5617.jpg

Do you remember when you realized you were no longer the cutest kid in the room?

I do. I was about 8 or 9, and climbing the walnut tree behind my grandmother's church with the local kids. I had just nearly (kind of) climbed to the top of the tree and was so excited about my summit that I shouted down to the adults so they could marvel in my feat.

But no one said anything. I'll just wait a moment, I thought, leaning against a branch. Then two minutes later I looked around. Where had everyone gone?

The adults were still there. But instead of watching me, they were cooing over a 4 year-old with bouncing curls who was spinning in circles beneath the tree. On the ground! She didn't even climb anything! And circles-the world's easiest shape! It was then I knew things had changed. Unless there was a teenager present, I would never be the cutest kid in the room AGAIN.

While I'm not saying that gingerbread people are passé or no longer adorable, I wonder if they feel jealous when served on a holiday dessert table next to my amazing gingerbread cheeseball like I did that day up in the tree.

Here are some reasons why my gingerbread cheeseball might make gingerbread people jealous.

  1. It is flipping cute.

  2. It is soft and creamy and gingerbread men are dry and crispy.

  3. Because of the fresh ginger in the recipe, the ball has a fresh and lively flavor.

  4. It's exciting and new- this season's It Girl.

  5. A gingerbread cheeseball is a conversation starter.

  6. It's suuuuuuuper easy to make, can be stored in the fridge for a week, and never gets stale.

  7. You can cover it pomegranate seeds and then serve it on gingerbread men cookies (too meta?). It's a dessert on a dessert!


Please don't feel feel bad gingerbread people. Competition only makes us stronger.

Bring this ball to your next party and expect to be invited back the following year. Recipe follows. Serve with speculoos, Biscoff, gingerbread cookies, almond crisps, or shortbread.

Gingerbread Cheeseball Recipe

makes 2 cheeseballs

  • 4 ounces cultured butter, room temperature

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

In a large mixing bowl or in a mixer with a paddle, cream the butter. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add half the cream cheese, mix until blended, then scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the remaining cream cheese and sugar and blend until smooth. Add the fresh ginger, spices, and vanilla to the bowl, mix for five seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and continue mixing until the mixture is all the same color.

Divide the cheeseball mix into two circular shapes and wrap in wax paper, then plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning the balls will be firm enough so that you can shape them into spheres. Create balls, and before serving, press the outside with the pomegranate seeds.


Kirstin Jackson