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Zesty/Peppery/Sweet-Blue Cheese and Date Spread -- or Balls!

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“Modified from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( online What's For Dinner recipe, made famous by Ann Sprague of Smyrna, who got the recipe from neighbor Velinda Warda. ---- NOTE: Serve this zesty spread chilled or at room temperature, or make into balls. Great with apple slices, celery sticks, tortilla chips, and/or crackers. I really like this spread with tortilla chips -- you get zesty, peppery-sweet, and salty!”
2hrs 5mins
4 1/4 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Measure 1 1/2 cups pecans (or double that amount if making cheese balls) into an large iron skillet, toasting over medium heat, stirring constantly ~ remove from heat and finely chop! (Or, preheat oven to 350 degrees ~ Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast 5 minutes.).
  2. Set nuts aside; they will be added last!
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine (by hand or using an electric mixer), cream cheese, blue cheese cheddar cheese, salt, lemon zest, and freshly grated black pepper until fluffy!
  4. Stir in dates and 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans.
  5. For easier handling, chill for an hour to firm up, if making into cheese balls. Coat with additional toasted, chopped pecans.
  6. Serve this zesty spread (or balls) chilled, or at room temperature, with apple slices, celery sticks. tortilla chips, and/or crackers.
  7. NOTE: Cooking time is the chill time, although I thought the flavor greatly improved after chilling overnight! The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger number of people!

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