Sneak Preview: This Decadent Dessert Cheeseball recipe is made with cream cheese and cottage cheese sweetened with dates, then rolled in chopped pecans, and served with graham crackers. Make the night before for best results.
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Are you searching for a holiday snack or appetizer that is a little bit sweet without tipping your guests into sugar nirvana after one bite? This cheeseball promises to be something different from cakes, cookies, and pies. It hits just the right sweetness level to satisfy any sweet tooth without going overboard.
Dates are nature’s little sugar cubes, shaped like a miniature football and apparently soaked in God’s magic elixir. Dates provide the only sweetness in the recipe. No additional sugar is needed.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- COTTAGE CHEESE: Incorporating cottage cheese adds a delightful lightness to your dish. Its presence is undetectable in the finished creation. If preferred, you can use thick Greek yogurt as an alternative.
- CREAM CHEESE: Opt for Neufchatel cheese to cut down on calories. For a gourmet touch, select a high-quality cream cheese like Mascarpone – it’s a sure way to impress.
- LEMON JUICE: The addition of lemon juice enhances all the flavors. Whenever possible, opt for fresh lemon juice for the best result.
- DATES: Aim to purchase whole dates. They tend to be softer and offer a fresher taste. However, be vigilant about removing any seeds to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Dried mission figs can serve as a good substitute.
- PECANS: Toasting pecans is crucial for unlocking their full flavor potential – I consider it a must. For convenience, you can toast them in the microwave. If you prefer, you can replace them with toasted, chopped walnuts or toasted sliced almonds.
What can I do with leftover dates?
I used to make a mini dessert by topping a Ritz cracker with a date. I also love chopping and adding them to bread such as this Banana Whole Wheat Yeast Bread. Check out this apple butter sweetened only with dates.
What do I serve with a date-sweetened cheese ball?
I like a sweet cheeseball with buttery crackers like Ritz or graham crackers.
Fresh fruit on the tray makes the whole setup more interesting since there’s not much color to the cheese ball. Strawberries or raspberries are at the top of my list.
How to assemble this Dessert Cheeseball recipe:
1. Place chopped pecans onto a paper plate.
2. Roll cheeseball in pecans to cover.
3. Place the pecan-covered ball into a small dish (that you like the shape of) lined with plastic wrap.
4. Apply pressure to the cheeseball inside the dish to conform. Chill.
5. Turn the dish upside-down to release the cheeseball onto a serving dish.
Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.
Dessert Cheeseball Recipe with Dates (No Added Sugar)
- ⅓ cup (70 g) cottage cheese – drained
- 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup (110 g) dates – seeds removed, and finely chopped
- ½ cup (49 g) pecans – toasted and chopped
- Combine 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese, 8 ounces (226 g) cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a mixer or food processor until smooth.
- Stir in 3/4 cup (110 g) dates. If using a food processor, pulse only 5-6 times until mixed. Refrigerate until firm.
- Roll chilled cheese mixture in 1/2 cup (49 g) pecans. Make a ball or get creative. Find a small dish with an oval or square shape or even a funnel for a cone shape. Line with plastic wrap. Force cheese mixture into the shape of the bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.