Last week, we celebrated Administrative Professionals Day in the English Department with a potluck–and let me tell you, I’ve always been bad at potlucks. It’s not that I’m a bad cook; I just rarely take the time to do the cooking. I’ve been known to bring such delicacies as Squeez-Its and juice boxes instead of actually cooking something.

So I did not want to be that person who came in with $5 worth of food they picked up last minute at the grocery store (because that’s usually me). I had initially decided to make this delicious baked spinach-mac and cheese thing, until I realized just how many I would need to make for the event and that, even if I did make them, I had no practical way to transport them from my kitchen to the department OR to keep them warm. Oh the conundrums.

Then I remembered this delicious looking dip I found on Pinterest (because let’s be honest, any cooking I do begins there or in the frozen food aisle): Easy Cherry Cheesecake Dip!

McBailey's Cherry Cheesecake Dip

Now I’ll be honest, anything with “easy” in the title is a pretty good start for me. And when you add in “cheesecake” I was pretty much sold. And, thanks to this picture, I realized I was reading The McBailey’s blog, not “Them C Baileys.” (What was I thinking?)

Honestly, this recipe was SUPER easy, and even kind of fun to make.

Ingredients for Cherry Cheesecake Dip

  • 7 oz. marshmallow fluff
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 2 8-oz. tubs of Cool Whip
  • 2 21-oz. cans cherry pie filling
  • 9×13 Serving Dish
ingredients
My ingredients looking delicious on their own. I used the store brand of everything because I’m a broke graduate student.

Directions

I tried to follow The McBailey’s recipe to a T. I’m not very confident in my non-recipe cooking abilities. I considered subbing a different kind of pie filling, and then decided against it at the last minute because I was worried it wouldn’t be as good.

1. Crush up your graham crackers to make a base! I used just under half the box, mixing them in batches in this cool little grinder thing I got for Christmas that I never I have a reason to use.

Cool grinder, about to do its thing.
Cool grinder, about to do its thing.

2. Put the crushed grahams into the bottom of the pan. I liked this step a lot because it didn’t require mixing them with butter and pressing them flatly into the bottom of the pan like the boxed cheesecake mixes I remember making as a kid. That was always my least favorite part. Instead, you just dump ’em in! Of course, you should try to smooth them out to a nice even layer. And may sure you don’t leave any of the pan shining through!

There's a little pan showing on the sides, but overall it worked well.
There’s a little pan showing on the sides, but overall it worked well.

3. Mix together the marshmallow fluff and cream cheese. You don’t need to use a mixer (which is sad, because I love using my KitchenAid!). I started off with a spatula, but it was kind of difficult until it got incorporated. I found a spoon worked the best, especially because it was easier to get the fluff out of the container (someone explain why the mouth of it is smaller than the bottom!).

Just stir it together really well.
Just stir it together really well.

4. Slowly add in the cool whip. Slowly is important. I used my spatula to get a nice scoop and then stirred until incorporated. Then I added more cool whip until I got through both tubs.

After cool whip, the mixture is super fluffy and delicious looking.
After cool whip, the mixture is super fluffy and delicious looking.

At this point, I had to taste the batter. I was skeptical that cool whip, marshmallow fluff, and cream cheese would taste like cheesecake. But it did! So delicious.

5. Pour into your crumbed pan. The McBailey’s passed along a super helpful tip. Ignore your intuition and start pouring into the pan on the sides. This will help you get a good covering and you won’t get all of your deliciously-crumbled graham crackers throughout the cheesecake layer.

Look how pretty! I would eat this whole pan as-is.
Look how pretty! I would eat this whole pan as-is.

Even following that advice, I still struggled a bit. I found it easier to use the spatula to “plop” scoops of the fluffy cheesecake layer into the pan. Then, once the whole pan was mostly covered, I used the remaining cheesecake layer to kind of smooth it out. It worked OK. I don’t think anyone noticed that some of the graham cracker crumbles slid around or got mixed into the cheesecake layer.

6. Top with your two cans of pie filling! I wasn’t sure I actually needed to cans, but it worked out well and created a yummy, enticing layer to the cheesecake. I’ve never been a fan of the cherries in the cherry pie filling, but I love the cherry goo, so I made a little side bowl I could snack on as I was making this.

Delicious Dip complete!
Delicious Dip complete!

Doesn’t that look great?

It tasted delicious, and I really hope it went over well at the pot luck. When I left, it looked like only a little bit had been eaten, but it was still pretty early.

All in all, this recipe was really easy to make. It took maybe 20 minutes, and I did it all standing at the kitchen table in my pajamas at 10 at night. I would definitely make this again, and enjoyed it so much I want to pass it along!

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