My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cheesecake Dip

Cheesecake Dip! (also called dessert cheeseball). I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I started making this many years ago when I had tons of cream cheese in my refrigerator and I was planning on making a cheesecake but had nothing to make a cheesecake crust. At the time I had young kids taking naps so I couldn't run to the store to pick up extra ingredients. (Those days are long are all grown now!) I made a dessert cheeseball that day instead which is basically a no bake style cheesecake without a crust....rolled into a ball and rolled in nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, cookie crumbs or whatever you want. You can change the flavor just like you do for a regular no bake cheesecake. Pumpkin, Chocolate, Peanut butter, etc. The possibilities are endless! Honestly, my favorite is making it into a dip and instead of rolling it into a ball....I pour cherry pie filling over the top. Today, I made my own cherry pie filling using frozen black cherries, water, a sprinkle of sugar and tapioca starch and cooked until thick but you can just purchase canned pie filling. Just make sure to read the label if you have a gluten allergy!

This is also fantastic with lemon curd poured over the top instead of pie filling. Since my mom left for the summer....there is no one here to make her scrumptious lemon curd. I don't make lemon curd. EVER! I don't seem to have the knack for it. I end up walking away frustrated with a burnt pan in hand. So today it will be cherry cheesecake dip! Next year I will sweet talk my mom into making me a few jars of her scrumptious lemon curd before she leaves so I have enough to get me through the summer while she's off globe trotting! ;)

You can serve the cheesecake dip (or if you decide to roll it in a ball) with just about anything. I usually do a combination of gluten free pretzels (the sweet and salty combination is great!), gluten free cookies, mini flavored rice cakes and apple slices but you can use whatever you have on hand or whatever preferences you have. I really like to add Cinnamon sugar flavored corn tortilla chips (also called Churro Chips) if I can find them in the potato chip aisle. It's a rare find! If we are having a large crowd over then I will usually make two different flavors of cheesecake dip or dessert cheeseballs.

Cheesecake Dip (Dessert Cheeseball) recipe: Makes 1 dessert cheeseball or small bowl of dip
  • 1 package 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. of milk or flavored coffee creamer, flavored extract or lemon or lime juice (depending on flavor you want)
  • 1/2 cup of Cool Whip (only if you are using as a dip. If you are rolling into a ball then omit this because it will be a little too soft to form into ball shape. You can leave the Cool Whip out of the recipe all together but I like the creaminess it adds to the dip version).
  • Any gluten free crushed candies or 1 tsp. cinnamon or instant espresso powder (or anything you want), optional. I used 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon today but you can substitute a different spice or leave it out altogether. If I am making a Cappuccino flavor, I like to add a tablespoon of espresso powder or instant flavored cappuccino powder.
For Dessert Cheesecake Ball: Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and your one teaspoon of liquid (milk, flavored coffee creamer, lemon or lime juice, coffee, flavored extract or whatever flavor you are adding) with mixer or spoon until smooth but stiff. It should not be runny. If you want to add crushed candy pieces, sprinkles or gluten free cookie pieces to the batter portion, stir in now. Roll into ball. If you want to dress up the ball from the outside then you can roll into nuts, crushed candies, crushed cookies, sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels or anything your heart desires! Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. If I am making this a day or two ahead of the party then I will wrap in plastic wrap to avoid the cheeseball taking on flavors from the refrigerator!

For the Dip Version: Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and your one teaspoon of liquid (milk, flavored coffee creamer, lemon or lime juice, coffee, flavored extract or whatever flavor you are adding) with mixer or spoon until smooth but stiff. It should not be runny. If you want to add crushed candy pieces, sprinkles or gluten free cookie pieces to the batter portion, stir in now. At this point I like to add the Cool Whip if I am making it into a dip but it is completely optional. Stir until well combined. It just makes the dip a little creamier with a fluffier texture. Spread into a bowl or serving dish. Top with your favorite topping(s) like pie filling, lemon curd, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, melted peanut butter, nuts, crushed gluten free cookies, chocolate chips, M&Ms, pretzels, sprinkles or whatever you want.

Mixing the ingredients for the dip version

It should be spreadable but still thick and firm

Perfect texture for the dip version. Creamy and fluffy.

The cheesecake dip in spread into a bowl ready for topping

I chose a cherry topping (one of my favorites!)

Rich and creamy dip. Ready to eat!

Up close view of the dip. I am eating it with gluten free pretzels.

Side view of the layers
View of the dip being eaten with gluten free wafer cookies

Ready to eat! 

Some of our family favorites: Cherry Cheesecake Dip, Lemon Curd Cheesecake Dip, Butterfinger Dessert Cheeseball (I add a couple of tablespoons of creamy peanut butter and crushed butterfingers candy bars and roll it in additional crushed butterfingers), Reese Peanutbutter Dessert Cheeseball (I add a couple of tablespoons of creamy peanut butter and roll in chopped Reese cups and if I want chocolate then I add a 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the cheesecake mix), Caramel Macchiato Cappuccino flavor (I add a couple of tablespoons of instant caramel or french vanilla cappuccino powder to the cheesecake mix and roll in chocolate chips and drizzle with melted caramel sauce, Margarita flavor (I add tablespoon of lime juice, lime zest and roll in gluten free crushed pretzels), Chocolate Coconut (I add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, mini semi sweet chocolate chips to batter and roll in sweetened shredded coconut), and turtle Cheesecake Dessert Ball (which I just drizzle with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and toasted pecans).  This recipe is super easy and very flexible especially if you are spreading it in a bowl or serving dish as a dip! This is also a great recipe for the summer festivities because it doesn't require baking.

Chocolate Cheeseball version

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cheeseball Version

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cheeseball served on Churro Chips (Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas)

If you have decided to add more like 1/3 cup of something creamy like peanut butter or Nutella and you want to roll into a dessert cheeseball, you may want to increase your powdered sugar to 3/4 cup or add 3 tbs. of tapioca starch or corn starch to get it to stay firm enough to roll into a ball. Another option if  you don't want it sweeter is to add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Like I said...this recipe is ridiculously flexible and you can add or delete just about any of the items. Specialty stores even carry a cream cheese substitute for those that are vegan or have dairy allergies. Trader Joe's carries a Goat Cheese cream cheese for those allergic to Cow's milk. 

I love these Walmart chips. Great for dessert cheeseballs. However, not every Walmart carries them :(
I love easy recipes like this that doesn't require baking. It is a recipe that even an inexperienced cook can make easily! It is a recipe that you can take to a party that everyone will enjoy and doesn't taste "gluten free". It can be made several days in advance so if you are rushed for time or planning a holiday party....this is a great option for dessert. You can make a couple different flavors to appeal to everyone. Another really fun option for a buffet style party is to make a large bowl of the basic cheesecake dip and have toppings on the side so everyone can customize their own cheesecake dip! How fun is that? It is the same concept as an "ice cream bar" dessert table but this is even better because it is CHEESECAKE!

I hope you have fun experimenting with this basic recipe and customize it to fit with your favorite flavors. Feel free to post any comments or pictures of your cheesecake dip dessert. We all learn from each other and I always love hearing from people.

Gluten Free Casually

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