Gift-Worthy: Tropical Cheese Ball With Homemade Pear Chips

Make a tropical cheese ball (with pineapple, vanilla, and nuts) and serve with homemade pear chips. Click through for recipe.

If you are looking for a delicious food gift that’s not loaded with sugar, you’ve come to the right place.

I love giving food as a gift, but I sometimes get overwhelmed with the sweetness factor. Cookies, caramels, and candies are great… in moderation. But a cheese ball – a savory one or a sweet one like this – is a refreshing option.

First of all, cheese balls are a treat. I mean, how often do you make a cheese ball for yourself?

Second, cheese balls aren’t sickeningly sweet.

And third, cheese balls are low cost. This one cost right around $3.00 to make.

This recipe is a winner whether you give it as a gift, serve it at a party, or eat it yourself.

Homemade pear chips, served with a tropical cheese ball.

Making It Gift-Worthy

If you are considering giving a homemade cheese ball as a gift (which is a really great idea, in my opinion!) here are some ideas:

  • Wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap so it stays fresh
  • Add a batch of homemade pear chips or a box of crackers
  • Add a cheese spreader/knife (these are cute: Vintage wine cork spreaders)
  • Package in a pretty box or gift bag

A homemade cheese ball makes a great hostess gift, as well as a gift for a teacher, neighbor, or coworker.

How To Make Homemade Pear Chips

Pear chips are easy to make if you have a mandoline slicer (OXO Mandoline Slicer). If you’ve ever made homemade apple chips before, then you already know how to make these. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Using a mandoline slicer set at the 2nd thinnest setting, slice whole pears. Do not remove the skin or seeds before slicing. (If you don’t have a mandoline slicer, you can use a knife. Just make sure all slices are approximately the same thickness).
  • Preheat oven to 225F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You should be able to get slices from 2 whole pears onto one baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Flip and return to oven to bake for an additional 30 minutes or so. Watch closely toward the end to make sure the pears don’t burn.
  • Remove from oven, cool, and eat or package.

Tip: I bought a package of organic Bartlett pears from Trader Joe’s for $2.99. I used 2 pears that were quite firm to the touch. This yielded enough 2 people.

Like what you see? Follow along on Instagram for more visuals, blog updates, and other fun stuff.

Tropical Cheese Ball Recipe

Prep Time: 15 min

Optional: Toast the almond slices for an extra nutty flavor. You can also use chopped pecans or walnuts. Nut allergy? Roll this cheese ball in chopped banana chips right before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped (you can also use canned pineapple that has been thoroughly drained)
  • Zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, pineapple, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to harden.
  2. Place sliced almonds on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  3. Make the cream cheese mixture into a ball: I find that this is easiest done with damp hands. Take cream cheese mixture and carefully form it into a ball. Roll the ball in sliced almonds. Place on a serving plate or wrap in Saran wrap and place in the fridge.
  4. Serve with homemade pear chips, cinnamon pita chips or crackers.

Leave a Comment