Holiday RITZ Crackers Veggie Cream Cheese Appetizer Tree
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Holiday RITZ Crackers Veggie Cream Cheese Appetizer Tree

Course Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 large RED Bell Pepper small dice
  • 1 large GREEN Bell Pepper small dice
  • 2 medium Carrots peeled and grated
  • 4 Green Onions white and green, chopped
  • 1 large Stalk of Celery small dice
  • five 8 oz. blocks Cream Cheese (or VEGAN cream cheese alternative)
  • 1 small star Marbled Cheese cut into a star shape (or VEGAN cheese alternative)
  • 1 bunch Curley Parsley

Instructions

  • Begin by taking out 5 blocks of cream cheese and allowing them to soften at room temperature.  I don't let them get too soft, just enough to be able to mix in the veggies.
  • Meanwhile, I like to prep all of my veggies in advance.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until softer.
  • Add the veggies and blend until well combined.
  • While the cream cheese mixture is still somewhat cold, place the entire mound onto your serving plate and using your hands, form into a Christmas tree shape.  I like to compact it as much as possible to avoid air pockets.  Don't worry about precision, you'll be able to fine tune the tree later.
  • Starting at the base of the tree, insert the whole RITZ Crackers, staggering them as you go.  If your cream cheese is soft enough, you should have no trouble with this.  If you are meeting with some resistance, perhaps veggies in the way, use a spoon to create a small slit to get your cracker a head start.
  • Once you've inserted your crackers in a spiral fashion all of the way to the top of the tree, you can then press and re-shape your tree. 
  • Add in sprigs of curly parsley. I like to create "indications" of branches and not cover up the cream cheese.
  • I reserved just a few of the diced red and green bell peppers to add in as ornaments.
  • Finally, using a small cookie cutter, I created a star out of a marbled cheese.  Insert a toothpick into the star and then insert the star into the cream cheese.