Recipe courtesy of Cooking Channel

Cheddar-Pecan Dip

This dip takes everything that's wonderful about a cheese balls - cheese-spiked cream cheese base, herbs, nuts - and leaves out the fussy ball formation. Because dipping into a bowl with fruit and vegetable slices is easier than wielding a cheese knife when your eyes are glued to the big game.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 3 cups
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Ingredients

1 cup pecan halves

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup mayonnaise

6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)

4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fine salt

Finley chopped chives, for garnish

Sliced apples, pears, celery and/or butter crackers, for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans out on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake, tossing once, until very golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then very finely chop. 
  2. Process the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Cheddar, Swiss cheese and cayenne in a food processor until the mixture is mostly smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, stir in the pecans and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. (The dip can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 day.) Spoon the dip into a serving dish, and garnish with chives. Serve with sliced apples, pears, celery and/or butter crackers for dipping.

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