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Get festive this holiday season with this Christmas tree shaped, avocado covered, herbed cheese platter! A sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds finish this tree off deliciously!
Oh TKW Family have I got one AMAZING recipe for you today! Forget about everything you knew about ‘cheese balls’ and holiday parties as this one is a true game changer! Anyone can make a cheese dip and shape it the shape of a ball BUT only a few, the dedicated can (and will) go that extra step and make it into a festive Christmas tree! But why stop there? If you’re going to shape it, you need to decorate it, right?! I mean set your dish apart from everyone else! You have 2 things going for you with this recipe – presentation and FLAVOR!!
I’ve teamed up with the amazing folks at WHOLLY® SIMPLY AVOCADO™ today to feature their most delicious (and one of my favorites) new products – SIMPLY AVOCADO™! Like everyone else on the planet, I’m obsessed with their guacamole flavors so when they released their new SIMPLY AVOCADO™ flavor I was super excited. They were looking for easy, delicious and a great holiday recipe. Check, Check and CHECK! I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys. It’s super adorable and OMG insanely delicious!
Now I’m sure at least once, in your life, you’ve been to a holiday party or family get together where there’s a cheese ball on the table. It’s either homemade or store bought and pretty much surrounded by crackers. Most are hard in texture so when you go to get some out of the ball you have to stab at it with a knife and then when you try to put it on a cracker, you end up shattering the cracker in a bajillion pieces because the cheese simply doesn’t spread.
That’s not the case here! It’s luscious, thick, creamy, spreadable and one of the best cheese spread ball dips I’ve ever made!
If you’re new to my website then let me start by saying one thing – I LOVE avocados. Like smashed avocado toast is probably one of my most favorite things for breakfast. But for a while, I had to go without eating them because I was in a shoulder sling for 8 weeks where my arm was strapped to my body while I recovered from shoulder surgery. And let me assure you, it’s not a wise thing to try and cut an avocado one-handed. Trust me, I know this! Sure Mr. Fantabulous would have cut them for me in a heart beat but I’m um… <confession> I’m just slightly stubborn. LOL I am not one to let folks wait on me, even when I’m utterly helpless.
How I wish SIMPLY AVOCADO™ was available then as it literally has the convenience of a fresh avocado without all the fuss!
SIMPLY AVOCADO™ is a pure, wholesome avocado dip and spread with minimal flavor enhancing ingredients. The convenience substitute for fresh avocado. It has the perfect consistency too – creamy with just some chunks. Like it’s actual avocado folks! And the fact that it’s not mixed with a million different things means you actually get true avocado flavor.
To make this holiday dish you can just head over to your local Walmart for all the ingredients you need – cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and SIMPLY AVOCADO™!
This delicious dip and spread is found in the fresh produce section. Do what I do and get several containers! I think what I love most about SIMPLY AVOCADO™ (besides the amazing taste) is that it creates happiness and empowers because it provides simple deliciousness with convenience. I mean there’s no cutting, pitting, scooping or mashing. Just wrap and enjoy!
To make this recipe could not be any more simple – start with room temperature cream cheese. You can go with the brick or the spread – do not use whipped as that’s too soft and it will not harden up. I went with a more firm spread but you can easily go with the bricks. Toss them and the sour cream into the mixer and mix until creamed and smooth. Add your seasonings, cheese and blend until smooth.
Now to shape, this is when you can get creative. I used a spatula and almost smeared the outline of a Christmas tree on a platter. Trust me, ANYONE can do this. This is coming from the girl who can’t draw a proportionate stick figure to save her soul. If I can make this, you can! Once you have the shape just start adding more of the cheese dip spread in the outline, building up. Once it’s built up, place it, uncovered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. When you’re ready to serve, top with the SIMPLY AVOCADO™ spread (I went with Sea Salt) and spread it up to coat the tree ‘green’. Pipe on some sour cream ‘garland’ and decorate the trunk with toasted pine nuts. Add some more pine nuts to the tree to act as pine cones and garnish with bright red pomegranate seeds.
When I finished decorating it, I couldn’t help but smile. It was just festive and pretty. Too pretty to eat…almost. As I was taking the photos Mr. Fantabulous came out to see what I was doing and let’s face it, see if there were any scraps for him. Men! LOL As he approached me, he saw this sitting on the table. He let out an “Oh honey that’s really, REALLY pretty! Wow! It’s a Christmas tree! OF FOOD!” to which he followed it up with a “what’s in it?” which translates into husband speak of ‘do I like it? can I eat it? are you done yet so I can eat it?’
Once I was done I gave him a cracker full while I pretty much took the rest for myself. Folks when I tell you when I tell you this was/, is amazing it’s an understatement! It hit every festive delicious note out there and I swear invented a few more. The additional of the SIMPLY AVOCADO™ with its fresh avocado taste was truly that item that took a great cheese spread recipe to elite heights! If you want to impress your guests serve this. If you want to be invited back to next years’ festivities show up with this in hand for your party hosts,
- 1 package WHOLLY® SIMPLY AVOCADO™, Sea Salt flavor
- 2 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (full fat)
- 1/4 cup sour cream, full or low fat
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar blend)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4–1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1–2 tsp chopped cilantro (or can use fresh parsley)
- 3 heaping Tbl toasted pine nuts
- 2–3 heaping Tbl pomegranate seeds
- 2–3 Tbl crema (or can use thinned sour cream – (3 Tbl sour cream plus 1 tsp of milk)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and 1/4 cup sour cream. Mix until combined.
- Add in the cheese, oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix until combined scraping down the sides and bottom.
- Remove the bowl from the stand, clean of the paddle. Take a serving platter and, using a thin blade spatula trace the outline of a Christmas tree with trunk. Once the tree outline is complete start filling in the tree by mounding up the cheese spread. When finished, place the platter, uncovered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If not serving in 30 minutes, remove from the fridge, cover with plastic wrap and store until serving (this can be made a day in advance).
- When you are ready to serve, take all but a tsp of toasted pine nuts and cover the trunk of the tree. Next, gently spoon and spread out the WHOLLY® SIMPLY AVOCADO™ over top the tree.
- Sprinkle on the cilantro over top of the WHOLLY® SIMPLY AVOCADO™!.
- Drizzle on the crema (just put it into a piping bag or plastic bag, snip the end and drizzle on like garland). Lastly place on the remaining pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
- Serve with crackers, crostini or pita chips.