Cannoli Cream Dip (A Tasty Kitchen Treat)

or a big bowl of cream cheese heaven

This is a slightly adapted recipe, the original recipe can be found here: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/appetizers-and-snacks/cannoli-dip/

The recipe is delicious, easily gluten free, and not one I can call mine.  As long as you give credit where credit is due over at Tasty Kitchen I encourage you to try it for yourself.  I made it a bit sweeter, a touch creamer, but essentially the same.  This is an incredibly easy dip to make for desserts or snacks at parties, or just because you happen to have a box of graham crackers laying around begging for a dip (though I really just use them as a spoon...).  This is easy enough to make just for yourself, but you may want to portion it out in that case or you'll find yourself wondering who snuck in and ate it all when you weren't looking.

I almost always have cream cheese in the fridge, and most of the other ingredients in the pantry, so this tends to be a very cheap thing for me to make as well.  I think the addition of heavy cream helps make this more scoop-able and reducing the chocolate chips helps to balance the increase I made in confectioner's sugar.  You could always make this in a stand mixer and that would be even faster, you may even get a more "whipped" effect which would be nice, but I have not tried it yet.

Here is how it goes:

8 oz cream cheese (I prefer reduced fat, it can't hurt and it softens faster)
1 stick of butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk)

1. Very important - soften the cream cheese and butter.  This can be done by leaving them out over night or softening in the microwave.  If you skip this essential step, it will use a lot more arm power to mix and take a bit longer to make.  My arms prefer if I soften the ingredients first but if you want to be hard core knock yourself out....

2. In a medium sized bowl combine the cram cheese and butter until you have an even consistency throughout.  Add the vanilla extract and 1 tbsp heavy cream and stir well.

3. Add in the confectioner's sugar and blend.  If you want it to be a little smoother, add another tablespoon of heavy cream and blend well.

4. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafers.  Refrigerate leftovers, if you happen to have any.

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