A while ago I had a dream about cheesecake dip (believe it or not, I get a lot of my best recipe inspiration from dreams…on paper that sounds weird, but I can’t be alone in this, right?), and since then, it is one of the many cheesecake-y treats that has been on my mind/“to-make” list. Really, why fight it?
Instead, I decided to make it. With silken tofu.
And because nothing goes better with cheesecake than graham crackers, I came up with Thin & Chewy Graham Cracker Crumb Cookies for dipping. (Actually, I had originally wanted to serve the dip with regular graham crackers. Alas, as fate would have it, my pantry was bereft of graham crackers but full of graham cracker crumbs (ok, I don’t think one box can be considered a full pantry, but you get the idea, lol). Any normal person would have made a trip to the store to pick up the crackers. Of course, since I love to experiment, I decided it would be much more fun to make a trip to the kitchen.)
Really, how perfect would this dessert be for a Fourth of July party?!
Just a Thought: This cheesecake dip is pretty healthy, as far as cheesecake-y things go. If you want to make it even healthier though, you can use a powdered natural sweetener (such as Stevia powder) instead of the powdered sugar. If you do this, you might want to cut back a little on the silken tofu or add a little more Neufchatel, as your dip might be a little thinner than mine. Or you could try adding something to thicken it a little…maybe coconut flour to play off the flavor of coconut in the cookies?
Yields about 1 3/4 cups
6 oz silken tofu
4 oz Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or pure vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1-2 tablespoons white sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are; if you’re using frozen, use 2 tablespoons)
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
2 strawberries, chopped
For the cheesecake dip: Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour into a serving bowl, then chill while you make blueberry topping.
For the blueberry topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the blueberries, water, and sugar (uncovered) for about 10 minutes or until the berries are softened, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch slurry and cook another 30 seconds minutes, stirring constantly (the mixture will thicken). Cool.
Pour blueberry topping on cheesecake dip; refrigerate. Garnish with strawberries and mint if using, and serve chilled alongside any dippers you like (such as fresh fruit, Graham Cracker Crumb Crispies, graham crackers, shortbread, pound cake, etc.).
Yields 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a small baking sheet; bake until light golden brown (about 6-8 minutes), giving the pan a shake every 2 minutes. Cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, then cream in the egg and vanilla. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet. Stir in cooled coconut and chill dough for 30 minutes.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners. Scoop the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2-3 inches between each cookie (using a 1 1/2 tablespoon-scoop you should get about 24 cookies).
Bake until cookies are golden on the edges (about 8-10 minutes), rotating trays once. Cool on trays before removing.