Well, I'm doing a little happy dance because the Christmas shopping is officially done. I ended up ordering a few things online today (Yes, last minute I know!) because I couldn't find the styles I wanted at the big box store and I wanted to avoid high prices and a major crowd at the mall. Now, let's hope everything arrives by the predicted Christmas Eve.
I decided to come home from my shopping this afternoon and celebrate with one of my family's holiday favorites Spicy Sausage Balls. They have been a holiday staple ever since I can remember. In fact, my earliest memory of eating and loving sausage balls was when I was about three or four years old. I remember eating them cold for breakfast, which to this day is my favorite way to eat them. There's something about eating them cold, it seems to bring out the spice of the sausage and the sharpness of the cheddar.
Sausage Balls are a pretty popular Christmastime goodies it seems because I see the recipe everywhere. For years I followed the basic recipe as it was given to me, but I've learned that I could adapt it a little and still have the same great will balls or crispy, spicy, cheesy goodness. Spicy sausage and extra sharp cheddar cheese are an absolute must. I have tasted them with regular sausage and regular or sharp cheddar and they don't have the same bold flavor.
The changes I have made are in the amount of Bisquick, and believe it or not, the amount of cheese. I always found that using the amounts in the original recipe left me with a bit of both in the bottom of the bowl that didn't mix in, so I have cut back on both and the flavor is identical. I start with 2 1/2 cups of Bisquick and depending on the brand of sausage I may need the whole 3 cups. I don't have a brand of sausage I swear by, so I use whatever is on sale. Some brands are a little stickier than others and require more Bisquick. The end mixture should not be sticky, so if you find that 2 1/2 cups leaves you with a sticky mixture add gradually, but I have never needed more than 3 cups. Another thing I changed was the baking temperature. I upped it to 350 degrees from 300 degrees. The Spicy Sausage Balls bake at about the same rate, they just get a little crispier on the outside which my family likes. If you don't want the outsides crispy stick with 300 degrees.
Now, go back up a batch and dig in! Then come back and let me know what you think.
Spicy Sausage Balls
Yield: approximately 45
- 2 1/2 cups (up to 3 cups as needed) Bisquick, or other similar baking mix
- 16 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 16 ounces spicy sausage
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix (I suggest using your hands.) until ingredients are completely incorporated and mixture is no longer sticky.
- Roll into golf ball sized balls.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they start to brown slightly.
- Using a spatula transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease.
- Store in the refrigerator.