Cheese and Crackers Christmas Tree

Add extra flair to your holiday spread with this impressive cheese-and-cracker Christmas tree that's actually very easy to make. Serve it with extra crackers on the side.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyEasy
Two 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
5 cups shredded white Cheddar (about 16 ounces)
1 pretzel rod
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pretzel sticks (about 40 pieces)
1/2 cup mini buttery crackers (about 45 pieces)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Crackers, for serving

1. Put the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, shredded Cheddar and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.

2. Mound about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on a serving plate and insert the pretzel rod vertically (the pretzel will help to hold up the structure). Add more of the cheese mixture, forming it around the pretzel rod and into a cone shape about 6 inches wide and 10 inches tall.

3. Press the chopped parsley into the surface of the cheese tree to make it green, making sure to cover all the white areas. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Insert the pretzel sticks, mini butter crackers and almonds all over the tree, angled downward to create 'branches'. Take care to alternate the ingredients to add variety and depth. As you decorate the top, break the pretzel sticks in half so they are proportional to the size of the tree. Top the tree with one sliced almond for the 'star'. Tuck the pomegranate seeds in between the branches for festive 'lights'. Dust the edges with more finely chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan 'snow'. Serve with crackers on the side.

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