If you’re going to watch the big game somewhere on Sunday, it’s likely at the home of family, neighbors, and/or friends. And you’ve probably been advised to “just bring anything.” I’ve been to enough of these events to know what the typical layout will consist of: many chips and lots of dips, usually of the extremely cheesy variety (and if you are so inclined, may we suggest Kevin Pang’s fabulous Green Chili Cheeseburger Dip).
At these types of parties over the years—be they sports-related, birthday-themed, or Oscar-fueled—I’m always impressed by the person brave enough to go rogue and bring an outlier to these gatherings: the dessert dip. Sweet instead of savory! Strawberries and bananas instead of carrots and celery! Graham crackers instead of tortilla chips! Still with the same addictive party dip quality!
For this year’s party season, I was determined to be one of these heroes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a single dessert dip recipe already in my arsenal. Like most people, I sent this out as a query on Facebook, and received a variety of responses: chocolate whipped cream; brown sugar, sour cream, and amaretto; a pineapple cream dip; a caramel apple dip; chocolate fondue; lemon curd; and just straight-up Nutella.
The Nutella part got me thinking; my family goes through so many quantities of it, if I lived in France, I probably would have wound up in one of those Nutella riots, looking for jars at 70-percent off. I quickly found a dip online from 2013 the Classy Cooking (“with a sprinkle of fancy”) website that contained both the magic words “Nutella” and “four ingredients”: Nutella, cream cheese, whipped cream, and a little powdered sugar. Going off the comments on this recipe, I changed the straight-up cream cheese to whipped. I also added some spices to kick up the taste a notch or two.
My small young assistants while making this at home were almost too enthusiastic to be truly helpful, although they did eventually get the heavy cream to whip. Our family secret is to put a metal bowl in the freezer to eventually whip the cream in, but if you’re short on time and just want to use Cool Whip, that would probably work: Nobody’s going to judge you here. It is actually tough to mix in the sludge-like Nutella, even using a hand-mixer, but the results are worth it. One of our at-home tasters didn’t like the dip because it veered too much from her beloved Nutella, but that’s why I liked it, to be honest. It has a more subtle, fluffy flavor that makes it easy to down copious amounts of fruit dipped in this magic stuff.
I put the mixture in the fridge overnight, so the dip actually held together better in the morning thanks to the hours of chilling. Then I brought it in to work, where I had a slew of enthusiastic tasters. A few were confused at first whether or not this concoction was in fact some sort of pudding or mousse. But once they tried it, they were—across the board—extremely into it, making it a must for me for Sunday’s big gathering. I may pull it out again for the Oscars as well; it’s fancy enough for a romantic dinner for two (with Valentines’ Day just around the corner) as well as crowd-pleasing enough for a party. It’s funny that a few of my original Facebook suggesters brought up fondue, because this (technically cheese) dip is basically just like a fondue, without the annoying open flame and frequent stirring. Which is why we’re calling it:
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 15 oz. jar Nutella
- 1 8 oz. container plain whipped cream cheese
- 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
First, whip the cream until heavy peaks form (or, cheat and use Cool Whip). Set bowl aside.
Using a hand mixer, mix the sugar into the cream cheese in a separate bowl. Then add the Nutella, vanilla, and cinnamon. Finish off by adding the whipped cream in two batches. Makes enough for one party bowl or two at-home bowls.
Serve with graham crackers, strawberries, and banana slices. Could also use apples and pears. A few of our tasters even tried pretzels for a sweet-savory combo.