Painted Pie Crust Leaves and a Pumpkin Cheese Ball

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Use painted pie crust leaves to embellish and decorate sweet or savory foods or dressing up a store bought pie or dessert !

Painted Piecrust Leaves

1 (15-ounce) package of refrigerated piecrusts

2 large eggs

food coloring

food safe brushes

spring-loaded fall leaf pastry cutters

Method:

Unfold your piecrusts on a lightly floured surface, then cut your shapes and leaves using your cutters. One (15-ounce) package of refrigerated piecrusts will make about 24 (2- to 3-inch) leaves. To make the tinted egg wash, whisk together 2 large eggs and 2 tablespoons water, then divide the egg wash among small cups, tinting each with a few drops of food coloring, to my colors.

For easy cleanup and to prevent the excess egg wash from burning on the baking sheet, paint the cut outs on a piece of wax paper before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush leaves evenly with egg wash, beginning with lighter colors first, then adding areas of darker color. Bake your leaves at 400° for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently remove leaves, and cool completely on a wire rack.

To give your leaves a more natural shape and dimension, place them on crumpled aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray before baking.

Tiger Striped Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Ingredients

(16-oz.) Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese blend, shredded

 (8-oz.)  cream cheese with chives, softened

2 (4-oz.) goat cheese logs, softened

Additional chopped chives

Cheddar cheese for ribs of pumpkin

Pretzel rod for stem

Directions:

Stir together cheeses and chives. Shape mixture into a ball to resemble a pumpkin. Smooth pumpkin's surface with metal spatula or table knife. Make vertical grooves in cheese ball, using your fingertips. Apply Cheddar cheese in grooves to resemble pumpkin ribs and smooth. Press pretzel into top of cheese ball to resemble a pumpkin stem. Embellish will painted pie crust leaves and serve.

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