Serves: 15 portions.
Preparation time: 2 hours.
• Fry the Bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel until cool, then finely chop it up.
• In a large bowl, stir together the softened Cream Cheese, the shredded Cheddar Cheese, the Garlic Powder, the Paprika and season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
• Using a cookie scoop (or a medium melon baller if you like smaller bites), form the mixture into small round bites and transfer to a sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate about an hour, until firm.
• Stir together the Bacon pieces, chopped Chives and chopped Pecans. Roll each ball in this mixture, then insert a Pretzel Stick deep into each ball to form a handle.
• Let it come to room temperature (15-30 minutes) before serving. Makes 15 medium or 30 small bites.
"Cream Cheese" - It's a soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream. Unlike other cheeses, it's not aged. It's similar to Boursin or Mascarpone Cheese. It was first produced in the US in 1872 by William A. Lawrence in Chester, NY. (Orange County). By 1880, a New York cheese distributor, named Alvah Reynolds, branded the New York made cheese "Philadelphia Cream Cheese" because the environs of growing Philadelphia were known for quality dairy farms. He thought "Chester Cream Cheese" just wouldn't sell as well. Today, Kraft-Heinz owns the brand and makes it in dozens of flavors. It's still made only in New York State in a huge white cream-cheese-brick looking building in the little town of Lowville, NY (near Watertown on Route 12). And you can buy bagels across the street to go with it!