Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hump-Day Quickie: Cheesecake Dip (featuring a ground-up bunny and reaction shots!)

Today on A Book of Cookrye, we present a recipe that's so good, you don't care that the Diabetes Fairy took out her book and put another mark next your name. It's perfect for summer because you don't have to turn on your oven or even a stove burner. And it's so easy, you don't even have to measure for it. Also, by accident it's gluten free (if you're into that sort of thing). We present...........

Also, I may be ranting about having to endure a wedding. I'm really happy for my brother, but the wedding itself was... a trial.

Cheesecake Dip
1 (8-oz.) brick cream cheese*
Tiny splash of lemon extract (or juice from about half a lemon)
Powdered sugar to taste
1 (6-oz.) bag mini chocolate chips
Graham crackers, broken along perforations (they sell them already broken into sticks if you feel lazy yet don't want to make everyone break them off for themselves)

Soften the cream cheese. Add the lemon juice or extract (be subtle, you want not so much that it tastes lemony but just enough that you can tell it's there and adds a nice tang) and beat. It may not really mix, but you want to get it past being just a puddle which will become just a clump when you add the powdered sugar.
Add a little powdered sugar- maybe a half cup or so- and beat to uniform. Add more powdered sugar until it's as sweet as you like it to taste. Fold in the chocolate chips. Store refrigerated.
Dip the graham crackers in it and eat.

*You can use neufch√Ętel cheese to reduce calories (it won't affect the taste at all), but since you're making something like this, it's pointless.
Or substitute something else... read on...

Seriously, this is so easy the only measurements are the package sizes. I did vary the recipe a bit. You see, it's just after Easter, so the candy is all on sale.
I do not believe in hollow chocolate bunnies.
Now, like a lot of little kids, I used to love decapitating chocolate rabbits. But I have grown up, matured, and discovered more mature things for mature adults.
Pictured: More mature.
As for the recipe, someone brought this to a potluck at the end of a class. For all the jokes about how weird art students tend to be (most of them tolerably near the truth), when it comes to bringing food, only international student associations have better spreads.
When a recipe starts out like this, you know the Heart Attack Harpy will be waiting.
These days, I make this when I'm invited last-minute to a potluck. Or, as happens more often, I get invited ahead of time, know I should bring something, but feel really lazy. If you bring it somewhere, put it in a cheap container you don't mind not seeing again- that way if someone asks for the leftovers you can just let them have it. This time, I'm making this because my brother's wedding was this week and that zapped a lot of my free time away hand-binding a guestbook, dodging being dragged in as a pianist or photographer... Anyway, I wanted dessert.

Lemon juice... sorta mixed in. At this point I called it stirred enough.
Making the guestbook was a lot of fun, actually. I loved picking out the fancy papers to use for the pages- and I got some absolutely beautiful swirly paper to glue to the outside cover. Then I realized I didn't have glue so I begged at my neighbor who's an architecture student (read: keeps having to glue together balsa or cardboard models) in the middle of the night.

Just a little powdered sugar at first; that way it all mixes in. If you add it all at once it just sort of lumps up.
I even put a photograph of them in a little frame and had a friend who does calligraphy write their names and the wedding date on it. At first, I'd just thought "People love this hand-lettered stuff," but a lot of guestbook signers were really glad to see their names correctly spelled right on the inside cover.

Now just beat the crap out of it until it's nice and smooth.
As for the day itself...
Even your sweetest relatives turn vicious when there's a wedding on the line.
Now start adding more powdered sugar until it's as sweet as you like.

And now it's all mixed and taste-tested.

It was actually really nice once the ceremony was over. I could talk to everyone without being put on the spot or dragged around to be photographed just because I happen to be related to the guy getting married. It was nice to see my cousins again, and also some now near-unrecognizable people who'd been really close friends when we were little. I was mildly confused when they wanted our two families photographed together- it was like they wanted to pretend we were as close as ever when I hadn't seen any of them in person since 2002.

Now add one ground rabbit.

Looks like bean dip, tastes so good you'd definitely believe it's bad for you.

Anyway, I promised reaction shots, and here they are!
Too impatient to wait for me to go upstairs and fetch the graham crackers which I'd forgotten.
First bite, and...
"I think I'm going to cry."
There you have it, folks! I can't promise tears of joy when you're not making this at 3AM, but it is so good!

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