Tag Archives: cream cheese

Cream Cheese Mints

cream-cheese-mints-nancycI love the scent of pine during the holidays. And the taste of peppermint and mint–flavored sweets! This holiday season, I’m enjoying both.

Right now, I’m using the new limited-edition winter scent of ECOS™ Dishmate™ Hypoallergenic ecoswinterpineDish Soap–they have a special holiday scent called Winterpine that they sent me to try, and it smells so fresh and clean!  It’s a great way to add the scent of pine to your kitchen. If you’re not familiar with ECOS™ products, they are earth-friendly and made with plant-derived cleaning agents that clean well and are gentle and safe to use.

And I’m also eating some wonderful minty sweets! These Cream Cheese Mints are kind of addicting. They have a rich, creamy, minty flavor. I like them more than I thought I would, which makes them dangerous for me to have around. So I’ve been sharing them with friends and everyone really likes them. You can make these yummy mints for any special occasion–birthday celebrations, wedding and baby showers, wedding receptions, and, of course, the holidays! I tinted mine red (or I guess you could say pink) and green for Christmas, but you can tint them any color you want. Or don’t use any food coloring and leave them a soft creamy white. This recipe makes about 175 small mints, which is a lot, but you’ll need a lot if you’re making them for holiday parties or any other event!

CREAM CHEESE MINTS by NancyC, adapted from BettyCrocker.com

Makes about 175 small mints

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (or use 6 ounces from an 8-ounce block)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract
  • Red and green food coloring, optional

In large bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese together, then add the confectioner’s sugar, 3 cups at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix in mint extract. The mixture gets pretty thick, so you may need to work everything in with your hands. Or, you can mix all the ingredients with a food processor (use on-and-off pulses until mixture comes together in a ball).

If you’re wanting to tint your dough red and green (or any 2 other colors), divide dough into 2 equal portions and place on wax paper or parchment paper; add a few drops of red food coloring to 1 mound of dough and a few drops of green food coloring to the other mound of dough; work in or “knead” food coloring into each mound until the coloring is evenly tinted to your desired shade. If you’re just making one color, you won’t need to divide the dough, and if you want your mints to be creamy white, you can skip this whole step–just leave out the food coloring.

Roll dough mixture into small balls (I rolled mine into balls that were between 1/2″ and 5/8″ in diameter-I wouldn’t go any larger than that or they will take forever to set–smaller is better!). Place on waxed paper or parchment paper–lined cookie sheets and flatten each ball with a fork. Let stand about 2 hours or until dry (If the mints are still a little soft after a few hours, go ahead and put them in the refrigerator to finish drying). When mints are set and dry, cover with another sheet of wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

These mints are perfect for parties or sweet little food gifts! And this recipe makes plenty of them, so you’ll have extra for yourself! 🙂  Besides pine and mint, what other flavors and scents do you enjoy around the holidays?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

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Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip

ncTxTrshWrmBnDp1nm I made this dip against my better judgement. I say that because it’s so hard to stop eating it–it’s totally addicting if you love creamy, cheesy, southwestern-style dips! You bake this in the oven and when it’s done, you dig in while it’s still warm with your favorite tortilla chips. And you may have to force yourself to stop! I added some chopped green chiles to the recipe I had found at Food.com and made it slightly different. All I can say is, wow–this dip is good! You need to try it sometime!

TEXAS TRASH WARM BEAN DIP by NancyC, adapted from Food.com

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans
  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan; set aside. In large bowl, blend softened cream cheese and sour cream. Add in green chiles, then mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning mix, blending everything well, then mix in 1/2 cup each of the Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses (a total of 1 cup), blending into the mixture well. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses (you’ll have a total of 3 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top). Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.

ncTxTrshWmBnDip2nm This dip is great to make for parties, game-watching, or even when you’re watching the Oscars. Are any of your favorite movies or actors and actresses nominated for awards?

Sharing this recipe at Meal Plan Monday,  Weekend PotluckInspire Me Monday, Wow Me Wednesday, Show and Share Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday.

Zucchini-Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yay for Friday! It has been such a busy week, I am ready for a slower-paced weekend! And speaking of weekends, I wanted to share a recipe I made last weekend–Zucchini-Banana Bars. These bars are so moist and yummy, just as you would expect, with shredded zucchini and mashed bananas in them! And they’re flavored with some of my favorite fall spices, cinnamon and nutmeg (I added a little more spice than the original recipe called for). Not only that, they’re also topped with a thick and creamy Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a great dessert for this time of year, or perfect with a cup of coffee or tea when you’re taking a little break. So go ahead and indulge yourself with these Zucchini-Banana Bars! 🙂

ZUCCHINI-BANANA BARS with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING by NancyC, adapted from Shugary Sweets

Makes a 9 x 13 pan, about 12-16 servings

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add in egg and vanilla, then stir in mashed bananas and blend everything well.

In medium bowl, blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.

Add flour mixture to butter-sugar-banana mixture in large bowl. Blend well, then fold in zucchini and mix everything well.

Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13″ pan and bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes, or until edges brown and pull from sides.

Let bars cool completely, then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese or light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • optional: Half & Half (light cream) if you want a thinner consistency

In medium size bowl, blend softened cream cheese and softened butter. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this makes a nice thick frosting–if you prefer a thinner consistency, add some Half & Half, or light cream, starting with 1 Tablespoon; then add a little more if needed). Spread evenly over completely cooled bars, then cut and serve. If serving later, keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Also refrigerate any bars that are leftover, because of the cream cheese frosting.

These are so good, you just may want to try making them this weekend! 🙂 Will you be having a busy weekend or a relaxing one?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Layered Black Bean Dip

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I have a big weakness for dips, so I try to just make them when I need to bring something to a party or get-together–that way, I have plenty of people to help me eat it! 🙂 This Layered Black Bean Dip is really easy to make, and I like to think that the black beans make it a little healthier! 🙂 I added a little plain Greek yogurt to the original recipe to make the base of the dip a little creamier and also topped it with some green onion slices. If you don’t have any parties coming up soon, this also makes a great snack when you’re watching football or other sports games on TV! This recipe probably serves about 6-8 people; if you’re making it for a larger crowd, you can double the recipe and make it in a 9 x 13″ baking or serving dish.

LAYERED BLACK BEAN DIP by NancyC, adapted from Kraft Foods

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (regular or light), softened
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can ROTEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, well drained
  • 1 cup finely shredded Fiesta-Style Four-Cheese blend
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (both the white part and stem)

In a medium mixing bowl, blend the softened cream cheese with the yogurt, blending with a hand mixer or by hand until creamy. Spread this mixture onto the bottom of a shallow dish or pie plate. Layer the black beans over the cream cheese mixture; then layer the ROTEL diced tomatoes over the black beans. Top with the shredded cheese and then add the sliced green onion on the very top (you can also add some chopped fresh cilantro on top if you like). Serve with tortilla chips.

Note: If you’d like to add more flavor to your cream cheese/yogurt base, stir in some dry Taco seasoning mix or Ranch Dressing mix to taste.

Dips are great because they’re so easy to make. Do you have a favorite dip recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener,  Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, and Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

Creamy Fruit Dip

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Fresh fruit served with a sweet, creamy dip is great for a summer brunch, snack, or even a light dessert. Here’s an easy fruit dip recipe that’s so simple to make and so good! It’s made with just two ingredients–marshmallow creme and fruit-flavored cream cheese. The marshmallow creme makes the dip really smooth and creamy. Serve with a variety of your favorite fruit!

CREAMY FRUIT DIP by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups of dip

  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 (8-ounce) container fruit-flavored cream cheese, softened (I used strawberry)

Mix the marshmallow creme and fruit-flavored cream cheese together in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy (use a beater for a really creamy dip).  Serve with a variety of your favorite fruit.

Fruit is really good on hot summer days and we’ve been having lots of them where I live! Do you make fruit dips often when you serve fruit?

Linked to Fiesta Friday/Novice Gardener,  Inspire Me Monday/Create with Joy, Show and Share/Coastal Charm, Wow Us Wednesdays/Savvy Southern Style.