Berry Cheesecake Dip

In May we moved to Texas because Limi was hired for a job here. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been a hard adjustment for us. In fact, we actually loved it here from day one and want to be here forever! I had never been to Texas before, and had no idea what to expect, but everything has been so wonderful. 
I will tell you though, there are a few things that I didn’t really think about, which have had an impact on my cooking. Take for example the humidity. I knew it was humid in Texas, but I didn’t realize the implications until I tried making Kale Chips. Just after we moved here, I took a quick trip back to Idaho for my brothers wedding. While there, my mom made a batch of wonderful Kale Chips, and I fell in love! I had never tried them before then, but I vowed I would make my own when I got back home. Once back in Texas, I bought a giant bag of Kale and set to work. First batch out of the oven tasted great! But to my dismay, the crisp chips quickly began to wilt. Whether I put them in an airtight container or left them out on the counter, the humidity didn’t allow for the chips to remain crisp. Cooking fail.
 
Next, I tried making coconut popsicles. I needed the coconut cream, so I bought a couple cans of coconut milk. All my coconut oil had gone from completely solid in Idaho, to completely melted here in Texas. I figured the same thing would be true of my coconut milk/cream, so I put it in the fridge, to maintain the integrity of the cream. Well that didn’t work either. The water separated from the milk, which separated from the oil. You can’t very well use a chunk of solid coconut oil in place of coconut cream, now can you.
 
My most recent blunder, cooking in this new environment involved the white chocolate chips from this recipe. I got them from the store yesterday and threw them in my cupboard, where I keep all my baking supplies. In Idaho this was no problem, and I did it all the time. When I pulled the chips out today, to throw them in the blender and make small chocolate chunks, the chips were soft and melting. Scratch that thought. We had chocolate swirls rather than chocolate chunks, in this recipe. All in all though, it tasted the same! 

Hopefully you had a few laughs at my blunders! It’s time for the recipe though. I stumbled across this on Pinterest and decided to give it a try sometime. A friend of mine had a baby recently, and I was bringing her dinner this week. What a perfect occasion to try a new recipe – when you are giving it to someone else. Just kidding. That’s horrible timing, but somehow, I always do that! Any way, I made a few adjustments because of the ingredients I had, and my environment (i.e. hot melted chocolate) and it worked out really well! I may or may not have licked the mixing bowl clean after dishing out the desert for my friends family. Good thing I was giving the completed dessert away, because I could have eaten it all by myself too. And just F.Y.I. all in all this makes about 4 cups, enough to fill a small serving bowl. If you are making it for more than 4 or 5 people, I would most definitely recommend doubling the recipe. I also opted to use frozen berries, but you can use frozen or fresh. 
 

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1  tsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup white chocolate chips, chopped or melted
3 cups mixed berries
2 TBS raspberry jam
Dipper ideas:
Graham crackers
Vanilla wafers
Sugar wafers
Waffles (like these Chocolate Waffles)

Directions:

Combine the Neufchatel cheese and sugars together, and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and white chocolate. Mix until well incorporated. Scoop the cheesecake mixture into a serving dish, and smooth it out. Cover and refrigerate.
Microwave the jam until it has melted, then pour it over the berries. If you use frozen berries, they should be partially thawed before adding the jam. Stir to coat the berries, then pour over the cheesecake mixture. Serve within 15 minutes of adding the berry topping to the cheesecake dip.
Adapted from Carl’s Bad Cravings.


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