The combination of cheddar cheese and pimientos is mostly known as the base for the tasty pimiento cheese spread, which was the inspiration for creating the following baked cheese balls.
In order to add more complex flavors, I used some tangy feta cheese on top of the cheddar cheese, along with mustard and yogurt, and also added a bit of hot sauce, for a touch of spiciness. Adding semolina to the dough, along with flour, is one of my favorite ways to create fluffier texture, with a bit of a crunchier bite. The dough is quick and easy to assemble and to form into small balls. It only needs a short time of refrigeration before baking, to allow the flavors to develop.
The baked cheese balls filled the kitchen with wonderful aroma while baking. Once baked, these balls disappeared in no time. They are simply addictive, and are perfect for serving for brunch, or as a tasty snack any time of the day. Try them and enjoy.
Makes: about 30
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Baking time: 25 minutes
6 oz (170 grams) extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbs flour
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
5 oz (140 grams) feta cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup thick yogurt, at least 2% fat
2 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
A few drops hot sauce to taste
4 oz (113 grams) diced pimientos, drained
1 cup fine semolina
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Cut the cheddar cheese into large cubes. Place in a food processor, fitted with the metal blade, and add the 2 Tbs flour. Process until the cheese is roughly grated.
2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, feta cheese and mustard. Add the cheddar cheese, yogurt, salt, sugar, pepper, hot sauce and diced pimientos.
3. Mix and add the semolina, flour and baking powder. Knead briefly, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 360F (180C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper
5. Create about 30 balls (the size of a ping-pong ball) from the dough. Place over the baking sheet, leaving space between them.
6. Bake for 25 minutes, until the balls are golden and puffed. Serve warm.