I had a few social gatherings this weekend and got to make a few new recipes. And whaddya know, they all had cream cheese. I made the cheese balls for a baby shower and the ladies loved them, especially the chocolate chip one. I don't think I've ever had so many recipe requests for a recipe. So without further ado, here it is.
(All the recipes are from allrecipes.com, by the way)
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine)
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, (optional) I used crushed vanilla wafers instead.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans or crushed cookies/graham crackers before serving.
Note: This was so soft, even after overnight refrigeration, it would not stay in a "ball". I ended up just leaving it sort of flattened and it was fine. I might try adding another half package of cream cheese and more sugar next time to firm it up a little. But the taste was excellent.
I served it with vanilla wafers, chocolate teddy grahams, and graham crackers. All were great with it, but I particularly liked the chocolate crackers.
Update: I made this again and just stirred the cream cheese and butter (both room temp) by hand instead of using the mixer....it turned out much firmer. DON'T use a mixer!
Easy Cheese Ball
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
2-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans
In a medium size bowl, mash cream cheese. Mix dressing mix and Cheddar cheese into the cream cheese. Shape the mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the chopped nuts. Refrigerate covered (preferably overnight) until ready to serve. Yum!
Cream Cheese Squares
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down. Pour the melted margarine over the entire pan. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.
Note: Next time I will decrease the margarine (or butter) to about 1/4 cup, or half a stick. I think that would be plenty. I didn't taste these warm, but they are delicious chilled. Grant thought they'd be better with some chocolate or fruit in them somewhere, so I might consider a layer of preserves or adding some mini chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture. Very tasty and easy, though.