Tag Archives: cream cheese

Mini Broccoli & Ham Cups

This recipe from Kraft (original here) replaces the typical crust of a biscuit or roll with a ham cup (see the photo). Mini Broccoli & Ham Cups is the twenty-fourth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, well drained
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup (½ of 8 oz tub) PHILADELPHIA ⅓ Less Fat than Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 24 slices OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Smoked Ham
  • ⅓ cup chopped PLANTERS Smoked Almonds

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine broccoli, tomatoes, cream cheese, Parmesan and garlic powder.
  3. Flatten ham slices.
  4. Press 1 ham slice onto bottom and up side of each of 24 miniature muffin pan cups.
  5. Fill with broccoli mixture; sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Bake 15 min or until heated through.

Variations

  • To make ahead, assemble appetizers several hours in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then, uncover and bake as directed.
  • Some recipe reviewers commented that they left out the tomatoes and still found the appetizer a hit with family or party-attendees.

Mom’s Cheese Ball

Every Christmas, for as long as I can remember, Mama has made these cheese balls. I’m not sure when the tradition started, but I know it cannot be Christmas until these are made and chilling in the refrigerator. So today, in honor of my Mom’s birthday, here is her recipe for Cheese Ball, the nineteenth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 2 jars Kraft Old English Cheese or 16 oz Kakauna sharp cheese
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese (one block)
  • Small container of Bleu Cheese
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Cherry

Directions

  1. Wet a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with granulated garlic.
  2. Place cheeses in the bowl, and allow to sit and warm for about one hour.
  3. Once cheeses have softened, mix well.
  4. Form balls and roll in chopped pecans.
  5. Add a cherry to the center, top.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
  7. Serve on crackers (we usually use Wheat Thins) or cocktail rye bread.

Variations

  • We have frozen these cheese balls as well. Simply allow the cheese ball to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares

These appetizers from Pillsbury (original here) look wonderful in the picture (from the Pillsbury site). Better yet, they seem to be quite easy to make. It’s another recipe I’m eager to try out. Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares are the eleventh of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 1 lb spicy or mild bulk pork sausage
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Unroll 1 can of dough. Place in ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.
  3. In 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink.
  4. Remove sausage from skillet; discard drippings.
  5. To same skillet, add cream cheese.
  6. Cook over low heat until melted.
  7. Add cooked sausage; stir to coat.
  8. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Unroll second can of dough on work surface, and press to form 13×9-inch rectangle.
  11. Carefully place dough sheet over cheese.
  12. Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into small squares.

Variations

  • Substitute 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls for the dough sheets. Simply unroll the dough completely and press together at the seams.
  • You could substitute ground beef for the sausage if desired.

Sausage Dip

Here’s a simple dip recipe from the Cooks.com site (original here) that everyone will scoop up. It can be easily modified to change the spiciness. Sausage Dip is the tenth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 package sausage
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brown sausage in skillet, drain.
  3. In a clean skillet, place drained sausage back into pan with tomatoes and cream cheese.
  4. Mix until well blended together.
  5. Place in a baking dish in oven for 20–25 minutes.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

Variations

  • Choose the sausage that your family prefers. We go with mild or sage because some family members have acid reflux problems. You could obviously use a hot sausage to spice things up. Chorizo, very well-drained, would work nicely also.
  • I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I suspect this recipe could go in the crockpot for an hour in lieu of baking.
  • A cup of Mexican or Cheddar cheese would make a nice addition.

Chicken Cheese Ball

This recipe is from Mom’s personal collection. Its origin is lost to the mysteries of time. Chicken Cheese Ball is the first of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 – 10 oz. can chicken breast, drained
  • 1 pkg. dry Itallian dressing mix
  • ½ cup Chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients but pecans, then roll chicken cheese ball in chopped pecans to coat.
  2. Refrigerate until firm.
  3. Serve with crackers.

Variations

  • You can also combine the pecans into the chicken cheese ball mixture and spread into a dish. Refrigerate until firm and serve as a spread.

Three-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole

Everyone here loves cheese, so this recipe from the April 2003 issue of Southern Living (original here) is going to be a sure-fire hit. The note with the recipe says, “The cheese in this mashed potato casserole is really what sets it apart from other casseroles. A blend of cheddar, muenster and cream cheese creates a dish of rich, gooey goodness.”

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  3. Beat potatoes and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.
  5. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Variations

  • Frozen mashed potatoes may be substituted for the cooked potatoes. Prepare frozen mashed potatoes according to package directions for 4 servings. Proceed with recipe as directed.
  • If you’re working ahead, casserole can be prepared and refrigerated. After spooning in baking dish, cover and chill 8 hours, if desired; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

From the October 2009 Real Simple (original online), these tasty cupcakes start with a cake mix, but folks will never know they’re not made from scratch!

Ingredients

  • 1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 pieces candy corn (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
  4. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
  7. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.