When we were in need of a mouth-watering recipe to wow guests this season, the incomparable Janine Waite from Happy Happy Nester shared her recipe for a gorgeous Italian Coconut Cream Cake with Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting with us. But she wasn’t done yet.
Janine also knocked our socks off with her recipe for an impressive Cream Cheese Pumpkin Appetizer with Peach Jalapeño Jelly. It’s fun to make, wildly unexpected, and sure to leave your guests wondering how you found the time to make such a fantastic dish this time of year. (And only you will know how easy it all was!) Carry this stress-free and crowd-pleasing recipe into the winter by making cream cheese snowballs, snowmen, or anything else your festive heart desires!
- 2 8-ounce containers of European-style cream cheese
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leafs
1. Set the cream cheese out and let it come to room temperature. Once soft enough to handle, form the cream cheese into a ball.
2. Cover the ball completely with plastic wrap, then wrap four rubber bands (or twine) around the cheese ball.
Note: This will create the segments of a pumpkin, so make sure the rubber bands are tight enough to leave an indentation in the cheese.
3. Unwrap the cheese and smooth the surface with a (clean) wet finger.
4. To create a stem, add a small cinnamon stick on the top of the cheese pumpkin, then add bay leaves as décor.
5. Drizzle the Peach Jalapeño Jelly (recipe below) over the cream cheese, or puddle it on the bottom.
6. Surround the cheese pumpkin with rustic crackers, and serve with a knife. Enjoy!
- 4 medium jalapeño peppers (minced)
- 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 6 ½ cup sugar
- 2 pouches Certo Liquid Pectin (6 ounces total)
- 1 cup peeled diced peaches
- Canning jars
1. Prepare a big stock pot with enough water to cover the jelly jars. This pot of water will sterilize your jars as well as provide the water bath for canning your jelly.
2. Bring the water to a boil, then carefully place clean, empty jelly jars in the big stock pot with boiling water. Submerge jars and boil them for 10 minutes.
3. Remove jars from the pot and place their lids in the hot water. Remove after three minutes.
4. Wash, seed and chop the peppers.
Important: You can wear gloves if you don’t want the spicy pepper juice on your skin (it’s an irritant). Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after this step, and no matter what, avoid touching your face or eyes!
5. Peel and dice the peaches.
6. In another large stockpot, combine jalapeño peppers, sugar, and vinegar. Cook over high heat until the mixture begins to rolling boil, then boil for five minutes.
7. Add pectin and peaches, then return the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for another three minutes.
8. Take the pot off the stove and let the jelly cool. Skim foam from the top and discard.
9. Place jelly in clean, warm jars and leave a ½ inch space at the top. Wipe excess jelly off the rim with a paper towel. Put lids on the jars and place right-side-up in the lightly boiling pot of water. There should be an inch of water above the jars.
10. Boil for 10 minutes and then remove.
11. Let the jars cool completely, then store them in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
- If you want the diced peaches to distribute evenly in your jars, gently shake the jelly while they are cooling.
- The lids will pop while cooling; this means that the jelly has sealed.
- This recipe makes seven half pints of jelly.
If you like Janine’s recipes above, you’ll love her recipe for a delectable Italian Coconut Cream Cake with Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting — and so will your guests!
All photos courtesy Mark Yamamoto from My Photography.