Today, the missus and I were invited to bring hors d’oeuvres to a little get-together. So, we came up with three quickies that are always a hit. It was only after making everything that we noticed that each offering contained cream cheese.
First up: Stuffed Pappadews
This one’s easy and never fails to at least intrigue the taster. Giant Eagle, in the Olive/Antipasti bar area, has South African Pappadew Peppers. They are small, red or orange, and kind of look like habaneros. Don’t worry, they aren’t very hot. They have a bit of a bite, but that’s it. Get 24 of the most intact peppers.
To prepare, place each pepper upside down on a layer of paper towels for approximately fifteen minutes to let the juices and oils run out. One at a time, dry off the outsides and pipe in a dollop of onion & chive cream cheese (8 ounces is good for the whole lot). Cloth piping bags with a smallish tip are good for this. I used a funnel and a spatula and got cream cheese all over my hands, but it worked. Once filled, you’re done. Easy as that.
Next one: Bacon Treats.
This one is a must-have for a party where at least one or more men will be attending. It’s bacon, cream cheese, and crescent rolls–what’s not to like? For one batch of treats, you will need two packages of seamless crescent roll dough, 8 ounces of plain whipped cream cheese, one package of real bacon bits (2-3 oz), 1/2 cup of finely minced onion, and a bit of ground black pepper. It also helps to have two baking sheets.
First, preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, onion, bacon, and pepper thoroughly. On a large flat surface, unroll the dough from one of the packages with the long side running horizontally. Spread half the bacon mixture evenly across the dough, out to all the edges. Starting from the bottom, roll up the dough just like a jelly roll. Once rolled, using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 1/2 inch pieces and place flat on a lightly greased baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Repeat process for second dough package using remaining half of bacon mixture. Enjoy.
Last one: Oreo Truffles
Now, one for the ladies. You will need one package of regular Oreos, 8 ounces of cream cheese, and 8 ounces of chocolate baking chips (at whatever sweetness level you want). For best results, make this one the night before.
In a food processor, grind 36 cookies into a fine powder. Pulse in cream cheese in small amounts. Blend together until it forms a single malleable ball. Remove mixture from food processor and form into 30-40 1-inch balls. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. While chilling, prepare a double boiler by filling a 2-quart pot with 4 cups of water. Set on high heat and cover the pot with a bowl that fits over the top but does not reach the water level. Place all chocolate chips in bowl. Once the water comes to a boil, the steam will heat the bottom of the bowl evenly and slowly (and uniformly) to melt the chips.
Once the chips have turned into a nice liquid, remove Oreo balls from fridge. One at a time, roll them in the chocolate to coat evenly. This can get a little messy. We dropped each ball into the chocolate and used two forks to roll and pick up each one and allow the excess to drip off. Once appropriately coated, place on wax or parchment paper to cool. Once all the balls are coated, store in fridge to set overnight. If you want to, you can also dust them with colored powdered sugar for extra sweetness (we did).