Raspberry Cheese Spread

We have staple appetizers at my house.  Ones that are made without glancing at the recipe and also, made over and over.  I can count on a request for this recipe from several friends if they are coming over.  I first learned of this recipe from a friend in Victoria, Texas.  BJ and her mom shared this with me close to 15 years ago.   This recipe takes a cheese dip to a whole new level.  Enjoy a small amount on a Friday afternoon happy hour, yet it has a great look for parties and showers.   You will love appearance of this dip.  However, the taste is full of flavor…cheese, spice, and sweet.  Enjoy!

6 1/2  inch springform pan

1 1/2 lbs. of grated cheddar cheese  (half mild, half sharp)   I prefer the regular grated, not the finely grated.

1 1/2 cups mayo (yes, I have used fat free and also light)

3 green onions, diced

dash of tabasco (give the bottle a good 3-5 shakes)

3/4 cup pecans, optional

1 jar raspberry preserves (I prefer Smuckers)

Wheat Thins/Ritz crackers

Let cheese stand a room temperature for 30 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the pecans.  Blend well with wooden spoon.  If you aren’t using a springform pan, mold and wrap in saran wrap.  I like to mold mine in a round mound with the top flat using the palm of my hand, and about 2 to 3 inches thick.   Chill for 3-4 hours. 

Put the chilled cheese ball (again, keep the top of the ball flat) out on a pretty plate.  Spread raspberry preserves over the top of the cheese, covering completely with the preserves.  Let the preserves drizzle down the sides. I typically use about half a jar of the preserves.  Sprinkle the top with pecans.  If you are a pecan lover, the pecans can be added in the mixture when mixing all the ingredients together. 

Serve with Wheat Thins or Ritz, or a combination of both.

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