There are some things on this blog that I just don’t know how to categorize over on the recipe page. Like chicken with artichokes and angel hair…pasta or poultry? And more disconcerting, this little ball of richness…appetizer or dessert? In most cases my catch-all categorization catches things that are pretty close in nature. But appetizer or dessert? There is a whole meal in between there!
But I still say that this can be both. It’s a cheese ball, so it can go out before your dinner in typical appetizer fashion. But it’s also chocolate, so if you prefer it can stay in the fridge until after your meal when you pull it out with perhaps some cookies. Although I don’t know why you would wait so long (through a whole meal that is).
Here are my favorite things about this snack/appetizer/dessert, in order:
1) It is delicious. Cream cheese and butter, vanilla and sugar, and oh, yes, chocolate chips. It’s like the filling of the danishes I told you about the other week, but minus the mascarpone cheese (although now I am dreaming up new chocolate chip cheese balls).
2) It is a incredibly easy. Put everything in a bowl and mix it together.
3) You know how when you have to chill a dough or something, it means that later (after you’ve cleaned your kitchen from round one) you’re going to have to get the dough back out and form it into cookies or loaves or whatever and mess up a whole other set of dishes? Not here. No, after you chill this you just have to form it into a ball, wrap it in some plastic, and wash the bowl it had been in. As in, no additional dirty dishes.
A win in all ways for something that I believe can be eaten at all times.
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wait Time: 2 hours
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips*
Graham crackers, pretzels sticks, or cookies for serving
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.
2. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Then form it into a ball.
3. Wrap in plastic until ready to serve. Serve chilled with graham crackers, pretzel sticks, or cookies.
*In addition to chocolate chips, you can add some chopped pecans (or even roll it in chopped pecans at the end). But as my theory always goes…why let pecans get in the way of the taste of chocolate?