Mini Cheese Balls in Pastry Shells
8 oz. Whitehall Specialties 851 Cream Cheese Replacer
1 cup Whitehall Specialties 467 Monterey Jack Alternative shred
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp red cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 T fresh thyme
Various toppings (ex. crumbled bacon, walnuts, paprika, sunflower and sesame seeds)
1 box frozen Phyllo Dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using about 5 layers of phyllo dough, brush each layer with butter and cut to size for a mini muffin pan. Bake about 6-8 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Set aside to cool. Repeat with additional sheets of phyllo dough as needed and continue to make them for a total of 48 mini pastry shells.
With an electric mixer, beat the Whitehall Specialties 851 Cream Cheese Replacer until smooth. Add the Whitehall Specialties 467 Monterrey Jack Alternative shred, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper. Blend until creamy and well combined. In a food processor, combine the dried cherries, lemon zest, and fresh thyme. Pulse until mixed well and chopped into small pieces. Stir into the cheese mixture. Cover and chill for about an hour. Form the cheese mixture into small balls using no more than 2 tsp each. Roll the balls in assorted savory coatings, such as crumbled bacon, various nuts or seeds, and herbs or spices. Press each cheese ball into an individual pastry shell and place on a serving tray. Serve immediately or cover well and refrigerated until ready to serve. Can be made up to two days ahead.