The Ultimate Cheeseball

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Everybody ready for some football?  You will be after reading this…or not because you will be too consumed in the rich, creamy flavor of this fan-favorite appetizer that will clear the sidelines and take them straight to your kitchen.  Here is the play-by-play game plan:

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Ingredients:

2 – 8 ounce cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 – 2 ½ ounce packed smoked sliced beef, chopped*
2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon Horseradish
2-3 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
Italian breadcrumbs

*You can find this in the pre-packaged deli section.

Combine cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl.  Mix well until combined.  Stir in Parmesan cheese, beef, onion and horseradish.  Once mixed, shape the cheese into balls. Depending on your crowd you can make one big one or 2 small ones.  Roll in Italian breadcrumbs.  Wrap the balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours.  For best results, refrigerate overnight.

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When you are ready to serve, remove and place on a platter filled with your favorite crackers.  It doesn’t matter who wins at this point…you are sure to score a touchdown with your guests with this recipe!

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Let’s go for the t.w.o. point conversion….

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Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

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This Chocolate Cheesecake bar recipe has been in our family for years and has been made for birthday parties, wedding showers, dinner parties and holidays. The chocolaty, thick crust combined with the fluffy, dense cheesecake layer makes for a great easy dessert. Check out how to make these bars for your next event….or cozy night in!

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Ingredients:

– 1-12oz package chocolate chips
– ¼ cup butter
– 2 cups Oreo crumbs
– 1-8oz cream cheese, softened*
– 1-8oz Neufchâtel, softened
– 1-14oz sweetened condensed milk
– 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.

Heat chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Once the morsels are melted, add the Oreo crumbs to the chocolate. Place ¾ the mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Make sure it is spread evenly. Set aside.

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Using a KitchenAid (or handmixer), beat the cheese until fluffy. Add in milk, eggs and vanilla. Mix for about 5 minutes.

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Pour the mixture into the pan. Top with the left over crumb mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean.

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Remove the bars from the oven and set to cool for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate overnight for best results!!

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Enjoy!T.W.O. signature

Cheese-Filled Pastry

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Waking up in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee along with a fresh piece of pastry is typical of the European lifestyle. T.W.O. would love to take on that same tradition and bring it to the States. Every day is a vacation, right? Well not exactly, but T.W.O. can help out in the pastry department. Learn how to make this scrumptious cheese pastry that will “WOW” a crowd!

Ingredients

For the Dough:
-2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
– ¼ cup water, lukewarm
– ½ cup 2% milk, lukewarm
-¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
– ¾ cup granulated sugar
-1 Tablespoon vanilla
– 1 egg
– 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

 For the Filling:
-8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchâtel, room temperature
-½ cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 teaspoons lemon zest or orange zest
-3 Tablespoons flour
– 1 cup of your favorite fruit jam or chocolate chips*

*T.W.O. doubled the recipe and made 3 large braids. They used apricot jam, boysenberry preserves and chocolate chips.

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In a small bowl, mix the lukewarm water and the yeast together. Set aside. Mix all the dough ingredients together in a large bowl. (It’s best to use a mixer or a pastry blender) Mix in the water/yeast mixture. The dough should form a soft, smooth ball. Set aside and cover for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

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While the dough is rising, start making the filling. Using a KitchenAid or handmixer, mix the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Finally, add the lemon/orange zest and flour. Place the filling in the refrigerator to chill.

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After the dough has doubled in size, place the dough on a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each dough out into a long rectangle making sure it is rolled out evenly.

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Spread the cream cheese filling in the middle of the dough. Top with your favorite jam or chocolate chips. Cut 1 inch wide strips around the edge of the dough. Fold the strips towards the middle to create a lattice top.

 

Click the thumbnails for a larger photo

Once completed, cover the pastries and set aside to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.

Right before the pastry is ready to go in the oven, brush the dough with egg whites. Sprinkle with sugar. The pastries will bake for about 30 minutes, but watch them closely so your dough doesn’t get brown.

Ready yet? I think so! Now it’s time to pour yourself some coffee and enjoy your pastry! T.W.O. suggests eating the pastry warm. If you want to reheat the pastry, cover it with foil and place it in a 200ᴼF oven for about 15 minutes.

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Happy Baking!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Need a recipe for the holidays that will really impress your guests? Well, T.W.O. has the perfect solution for you – Pumpkin Cheesecake. It’s a moist, creamy and delectable cake that will compliment any meal. There is even better news too – you can make it the night before so you don’t have to worry about baking the day of your dinner party!

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Ingredients

Crust:
– 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
– 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
– ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 stick butter, melted

 Cheesecake filling:
– 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
– 1 (8-ounce) packages Neufchâtel, room temperature
– 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
– 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
– ¼ cup sour cream
– 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– ½ teaspoon ground cloves
– 2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350ᴼF.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Create crust by pressing this mixture to the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Put aside.

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Using a mixer (T.W.O. uses a KitchenAid mixer), beat cream cheese until smooth. It is important to make sure your cream cheese is room temperature so the filling doesn’t contain chunks of cream cheese. Add in eggs, yolk, pumpkin, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well. Slowly combine flour into the filling mixture.

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Pour the filling into the springform pan, and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Put a bowl of water on the bottom wrack of the oven. This helps prevent any cracks in your filling. Place the cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a butter knife comes out clean. Set aside and let cool for 30 minutes. Cover the cake and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. T.W.O.suggests leaving it overnight.

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Once you are ready to eat, add some whipped cream to the top of the cake, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve! Don’t be surprised if people ask for seconds or get caught eating it for breakfast! T.W.O. did!

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Happy Baking!!

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