Although time consuming to make, these delicious little bite-sized appetizers are a fun project to get the kids involved in and a hit at any party!
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked hickory smoked bacon (about a 12 oz. package)
at least 4 slices of sliced cheese (I used colby from the deli)
a few whole black olives (for the eyes)
100% whole wheat ritz crackers
orange food coloring (or red and yellow to make orange)
mini cookie cutters (these can be found at art supply stores in the sculptey clay department), a flower shaped one, tear drop shaped and square or diamond
squeeze bottle with lid – empty
disposable gloves (if you don’t like your hands getting sticky!)
food brush (you can use any painting brush as long as it will ONLY be used on food and is new!)
lots of time to waste!
Cook bacon until crispy (it has to be crispy), then transfer to paper towel to soak up excess grease and let sit until cooled, about 8 minutes. Once cooled, using knife or fingers, break up bacon into small bits ( the smaller the better) and place in bowl with 8 oz. of shredded cheese and cream cheese. Mix until fully incorporated.
Either loose chop or use a food chopper and pulse for 3 or 4 times, the remainder of the shredded cheese. Place on plate.
Open sleeve of crackers and line up along your assembly surface.
Place slices of cheese flat against cutting board and cut out 2 flower shapes, 2 teardrop shapes and 1 diamond for each “chick”. I had a problem with the cheese sticking inside of the cutters so I popped them out with a chopstick. My 5 year old son used a fork prong.
In sauce dish, prepare food coloring
Slice into thin sheets, black olives. This is where the squeeze bottle comes in. I’m sure there are many variations of how to cut a small, perfectly round eye out of olive, but this was the easiest for me! When pushing the top of the squeeze bottle into the olive, it would easily cut perfectly through the olive but then, it was stuck inside the tube! Well the back pressure shot the olive out with a little squeeze and the kids thought it was hilarious!
Now you are ready for assembly!
Using about a Tablespoon’s worth of cheeseball mixture, form into balls and then roll in shredded cheese.
Place the two flower shaped “feet” on a cracker and squish on the cheeseball “bird body”
Apply tear drops to each side of bird body for “wings” and cut diamond shape in half to make the “beak”
These will actually stick quite easily because the cheeseball is very sticky
Carefully place eyes over beak and then using brush, color with food coloring the beak and visable feet to give a little color contrast.
Voila! You made a chicken! Repeat process until done.
Tired of making these millions of chickens? Use the rest of the cheese ball mix to form into one big ball, cover in shredded cheese and surround with crackers, DONE and no one will know you just got tired of making chicks!
Can’t get to the art store to get mini cookie cutters? You can use a knife to cut out your shapes but be warned, it takes a long time and becomes frustrating after awhile. Ordering the pieces online is much easier, around $5.00 for a set and they can be used over and over for all kinds of projects with food!
Although these are time consuming to make, they do not keep long because the crackers get soggy. Making ahead of time? Make them without the crackers and feet a day in advance, cover and refridgerate, then apply chicks to crackers right before serving so the crackers remain crisp!
Don’t know where to find a squeeze bottle? They are located in the cake decorating section of stores, the kitchen utensil aisle, the picnic aisle (as they are often used for mustard and ketchup dispensers) or even at the dollar store!