Cheesy Blossoms

'Tis the season ... for appetizers (and this one is delicious)! At our house we always have the same few appetizers during the holidays, and I am on a mission to broaden our horizons when it comes to the meal before the meal. At a recent family gathering I tried this one, and everyone raved about it. They were also great to make ahead of time and pop in the oven shortly before I was ready to serve. 

They even got requested for our next gathering, which means they will eventually make the list of our usual appetizers. But at least this one hasn't been in the family since the dawn of time!

- Amber

Cheesy Blossoms

Ingredients

Directions

Combine first 2 ingredients and ½ cup Swiss cheese; stir to blend. Press 1 slice of ham into each mini-muffin cup. Roll cream cheese mixture into scant 1-inch balls. Place one ball inside ham in each muffin tin. Top each with a sprinkle of remaining Swiss cheese. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm garnished with minced pimentos and chopped parsley. Makes about 24 blossoms.

Tips and Hints

  • It's important to use really thinly sliced round ham for these blossoms. Thick ham won't fit into the mini-muffin cups and won't get crisp around the edges.
  • You can pipe the cream cheese mixture in to the ham if you're an over-achiever, but rolling it into small balls is the easiest and least messy.
  • The minced pimentos and chopped parsley make really pretty garnishes for the holidays. You could also use finely chopped olives, crumbled French fried onions or chopped chives.
  • These are best served warm.
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