Sweet Stuff

3 Delicious Cream Cheese Appetizers

I really love cream cheese. The standard application on a bagel is one of my favorite quick breakfasts, but there are so many other things you can do with the stuff. It can be very versatile: sometimes sweet or savory depending on the application.

Because it is the holiday season and I’m sure you all have parties to go to and people to entertain, I thought I would give three really quick and easy cream cheese appetizers you could bring to a party that would be delicious.

Let’s get started.


These are fantastic little finger foods that would be great to bring to a party. In fact, I took these to a book club and they were a pretty big hit.

Pinwheels Recipe
(makes 64 pieces)
– 4 large plain flour tortillas
– 8 ounces cream cheese
– 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato
– 2 – 3 Tablespoons chopped basil
– 1 clove garlic
– 2 Tablespoons shallot or onion

Getting the tomatos and basil acquainted

Getting the tomatos and basil acquainted

I actually doubled the recipe when I made it because these guys store really well and they are great snack food for a lazy weekend. The prep is super-easy. Just chop up or lightly pulse all the ingredients in a food processor, stir the mixture into your cream cheese and then spread it on your tortilla. You want a pretty thin layer of the cheese mixture because when you roll it up you want the same thickness of cheese and tortilla layers.

Roll. Cut. Eat.

Roll. Cut. Eat.

I cut my pinwheels pretty thick and I ended up with 16 pinwheels per tortilla.

These are one of my favorite quick and easy appetizers. Once you get the technique down you can mix all kinds of other stuff in the cream cheese.



This is a quick and savory dip with a cream cheese base. Awesome for a cold winter day.

Crab Dip Recipe
– 8 ounces cream cheese
– 6 ounces canned crab meat (It might be better with fresh but you put so much other stuff in there it is hard to say.)
– 1 Tablespoon garlic finely minced
– 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
– 1 Tablespoon Half and Half
– 1 Teaspoon horseradish
– 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire
– 2 Teaspoons Old Bay (plus some for sprinkling)

Just mix the stuff up man. Simple.

Just mix the stuff up man. Simple.

Chop up your veggies, add your cream cheese and all your other ingredients. Mix it up well in a bowl. Just use a fork. Try to be delicate with the crab meat. The more chunky you can keep it the better.

Put this in an oven proof bowl, sprinkle completely with more Old Bay and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Also called: Best way to get Old Bay into my body.

Also called: Best way to get Old Bay into my body.

I like to serve this dip with a good baguette, but any good cracker would work also.



I made these to show off the sweet side of cream cheese which you probably are familiar with if you’ve ever had cheesecake. Let me start by saying that I totally messed up this recipe. I accidentally doubled the amount of cream cheese and it still turned out excellent. It was the richest brownie I’ve ever had. Ever.

Also, I don’t love box brownies. Once you have the real deal it is hard to go back.

Cheesecake Brownies (courtesy of Mr. Bittman)
(Makes a 9X9 dish of delicious)
Brownie Mixture
8 Tablespoons butter
– 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
– 1 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– A Pinch of salt

Cheesecake Filling
4 ounces cream cheese (I used 8. Not really sure how I misread this.)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 egg

Real brownie ingredients.

Real brownie ingredients.

Make the cheesecake filling first by beating the cream cheese until it is fluffy, probably 3 minutes. Beat in your sugar and egg and continue to beat until it is smooth and rich.

For the brownie mixture, chop up your chocolate and put it in a medium saucepan with the butter on low heat. You want the butter and chocolate almost melted, but not entirely melted. Then turn off the heat and keep stirring. It will melt completely on its own and not burn.

Pour your chocolate mixture into a bowl and mix it with the sugar, eggs, flour and salt (in that order). Mix in the dry ingredients slowly and make sure they are well incorporated.

This is healthy for your soul.

This is healthy for your soul.

Pour half of your brownie mixture in your pan (greased!) and then add all of your cream cheese filling. Spread it out over an even layer and then top it with the rest of your brownie mixture. Use a knife to swirl it and make it all pretty.

Bake this guy for 30 minutes at 350. It might not look set all of the way but once it cools it will continue to harden and set nicely. The rule with brownies is undercooked is better than overcooked any day.

If you liked these recipes, I’d love it if you used the below links to pass along the post to others. Thanks and happy holidays!

15 comments on “3 Delicious Cream Cheese Appetizers

  1. Wow, Nick, you’re right…after reading this post I might have no choice but to wait a week to diet because I have to try that dip!!

  2. Hey–was Stumbling "Food/Cooking" and came across this post! Cool. And now I'm looking around for an after dinner, cheesy-type snack. The brownies would be perfect!

  3. Sun dried tomatoes, basil and cream cheese…..wattacombo. I was cruising for something to add to cream cheese in stuffing celery for a holiday pot luck. Its quick & easy to make and travels well. Don't have to worry about any mayo, etc. spoiling if left out too long. Not that this would stay out too long…it's that delicious. Thanks for the recipe and Happy Holidays.

Leave a Comment