This is actually a recipe I created from four or five different sausage ball recipes. I have tried so many versions on sausage balls in the past and finally came up with one that my family really loves.
Crumble up raw sausage in large bowl and set aside. Grate cold extra sharpe cheddar cheese and put on top of raw sausage. The cheese grates better when cold.
In a seperate bowl add baking mix, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne & black pepperr, if using, and combine well. Add this to the large bowl with the sausage and cheese. Add in water chestnuts if using. Using your hands mix together just a bit. It will be dry.
Now add the milk (or water) and mix by hand. If you see that it's too dry start adding one tablespoon of water at a time. Do this until the mixture is a bit sticky.
Roll into balls the desired size you prefer and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, biscuit pan or stone. Bake at 350-375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
*You can freeze them before they are cooked. Just remove them from freezer, thaw and bake as directed above. I flash freeze them and then bag them up so they don't stick together.
**You can also freeze them once they have been cooked. Just remove from freezer, thaw and heat up in oven or toaster oven for better results. If you choose to microwave them they will be fine just not as crispy.
NOTE: I have found that grating the cheese while it's cold works better. I actually use a hand grater, which doesn't take long at all. Also, once in the bowl you can let the sausage and cheese set until it's room temperature. I do this while dicing the water chestnuts and combining the baking mix and spices together.
TIP: Try using half extra sharp cheddar and half Mexican blend cheeses for a little different taste. They are delish!