Red velvet chocolate chip cheese ball

red velvet chocolate chip cheese ballSo it’s officially holiday entertaining season and you know what that means…scouring the internet for appetizer, entrée and dessert recipes. It’s always a personal challenge of mine to out-do myself when it comes to entertaining. No one expects it, but there’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that this year’s menu was better than last year’s AND that my guests loved it just as much as I loved Pinterest-ing for two weeks to find the perfect recipes. Call me Miss Type-A.

Entertaining this holiday season and in need of a dessert recipe? I’ve seen this one all over Pinterest and I had to try it based on my love for the never-fail cheese ball and red velvet…well, anything. Think of this as a sweet version of a cheese platter, a “dessert appetizer” to make up a completely new menu category. The red velvet chocolate chip cheese ball is creamy, sweet and decadent thanks to the layer of mini chocolate chips which add the perfect amount of crunch. Made with red velvet cake mix, cream cheese, butter and sugar, the sweet cheese ball is definitely a treat but it’s SO worth it (just like the 15 Christmas cookies I ate in one sitting at my work holiday party…oops!) I served this with vanilla wafer cookies, but animal crackers or graham crackers would also pair well. I (of course) lightened up the recipe a bit by using 1/3 less fat cream cheese and margarine instead of butter. The best part: it took 10 minutes to make PLUS the red color is super festive!
Happy holidays!

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Easy 3-ingredient pumpkin spice cookies

Easy 3-ingredient pumpkin spice cookiesYes, I am one of “those” girls when it comes to pumpkin season. My coffee of choice? Dunkin Pumpkin k-cups. Pumpkin cream cheese on my pumpkin bagel, please. Pumpkin cocktails for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin for dinner like this pumpkin pasta bake I’m dying to try. The list goes on and on, but hey, pumpkin season is a limited time offer, so I have to get it while I can!

My list of “pumpkin everything” recipes is pretty long, but this one came to mind first since I was short on time on a weeknight (shocking, I know). I’ve made these super easy fall-favorite cookies before, but never for an unbiased audience (aka not the hubby), so I wasn’t sure how they’d go over for my work potluck luncheon. Let me tell you, they were such a hit that I made another batch for the office a week later! The soft cake-like texture topped with sweet cream cheese frosting and a dusting of warm cinnamon creates the most delicious pumpkin cookies ever. The cookies themselves are not overly sweet, so the frosting provides the perfect touch of creamy sweetness. Oh, and they’re really not terrible for you since there’s no oil, no butter, and no eggs. My co-workers helped themselves to seconds (and thirds).

These cookies would be a hit at Thanksgiving, holiday parties, cookie exchanges, you name it. With a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes, you can have these babies ready to go! This recipe is also extremely versatile – I use it to make pumpkin bread in a loaf pan, and it would be great as pumpkin muffins or as pumpkin whoopie pies (just sandwich two cookies together with cream filling)!
Easy 3-ingredient pumpkin spice cookies

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