Friday, December 13, 2013

Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

We're well into the Christmas season which probably means your tree is up, halls are decked and there are many presents under your tree.  Along with the decorations and shopping comes parties, gatherings and friends popping in.  A quick, no fuss, and yummy snack that can be thrown together in a snap is a must this time of year.
This dip is just that.  It can be prepared in under five minutes, no bake time needed and can be served with a variety of dippers.  Making this ideal for those friends that pop in or for a last minute get together at a friends house.  This is one of those dishes that looks impressive but doesn't take much effort.
During Thanksgiving I shared a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake dip that was amazing.  All the smooth, sweet goodness of a pumpkin cheesecake with none of the fuss.  It was the perfect recipe for fall and all those Thanksgiving gatherings.  And I can't tell you how many people I heard from regarding that dip; it was a hit and people were making it left and right.  So once we got through Thanksgiving and I had consumed my fare share of all things pumpkin I started transitioning into Christmas and thinking of all things Christmas.  For these recipes I started going through different goodies in my head that were associated with this time of year.  Once the thought process started the ideas began flowing.  
What are a few food items that come to mind when you think of Christmas?  For me it's chocolate, cranberries, white chocolate, hot cocoa, treats dusted in powdered sugar, peppermints and all things sweet.  Peppermints are a staple this time of year from tree décor, kid's art projects, to baking; those red and white minty candies are everywhere.  I stocked up on one of my favorite baking items for this time of year as soon as I saw them hit the shelves; these Andes baking chips are one of my weaknesses and one of my favorite things to cook with this time of year, so I new these were a must for this dip.  What pairs perfectly with mint?  White chocolate, of course! 
So it was a done deal; peppermint white chocolate cheesecake dip.  Yup.  That was happening.  This dip is to Christmas as my pumpkin cheesecake dip is to Thanksgiving.  It's a must.  You've got a smooth creamy white chocolate cream cheese that is beat until light and fluffy.  Fresh whipped cream is folded in to lend that airy texture that is so amazing.  Then a hefty does of Andes baking chips are folded throughout the cheesecake dip.  Bits of red from the mints shine through the frosty white cheesecake batter.  Then another sprinkle of the chips are tossed over the top along with bits of crushed peppermint; not only making a beautiful and simple garnish but adding a layer of texture and more minty flavor.  This dip will be a hit your Christmas parties or your festivities on Christmas day.  You may want to make a double batch to ensure that everyone actually gets to taste some, because I promise you won't be able to top with just one taste. 

Serve this with pretzels, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, chocolate covered graham crackers or chocolate dipped pretzel sticks.  Or just scoop it up with a spoon and enjoy pure bliss! 


Peppermint White Chocolate Cheesecake Dip

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 Cup white chocolate, finely chopped and melted
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/4 Tsp peppermint extract
1/4 Cup heaving whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Cup Andes peppermint baking chips
Crush peppermints, for garnish-optional

Directions:

Place whipping cream in a medium bowl and beat on high until it begins to thicken.  Once the cream has thickened, add the granulated sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

Finely chop white chocolate and place in a microwave safe dish and heat in 20 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is smooth and melted.

Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat on high until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  Once the powdered sugar in incorporated increase spead and beat on high for 1 minute.  Add the peppermint extract and stir incorporate.

Add the whipped cream and gently fold in.  Add the baking chips and stir to combine.  Place in a serving dish, top with additional chips and crushed peppermint.  Serve with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, chocolate covered pretzels, or chocolate covered graham crackers.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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