I know that autumn has really arrived when….
- the temperatures are cooler?
- the leaves are changing?
- the days are getting shorter?
Nope! It is autumn in our home when I make the first batch of pumpkin dip of the season! I made my first batch on Sunday, and the Littlest Chef has been enjoying it all week in her lunches with apple or pear slices.
I don’t recall where I first saw this recipe. Versions abound, and it is quite likely that I saw it on a box of cream cheese. The Littlest Chef was in Preschool, and we were asked to send a snack for a party. I had seen this recipe and thought it looked very kid friendly.
Then, the drama ensued. It seems that what struck me as a likely home run with the 3-year old set was not an obvious hit with the Littlest Chef. She objected, sobbed, moaned and generally threw a fit of epic proportions over the idea that I was sending this to her Preschool. If you’ve ever met the Littlest Chef, you know how rare such behavior is, and I was very surprised by it. She insisted that her peeps wouldn’t like it.
I begged her to trust me on this one, and we sent a platter of pumpkin dip and sliced apples for dipping with one grumpy girl. At the end of the day, the Preschool teacher handed me a platter practically licked clean and said that the children couldn’t stop eating it. The Littlest Chef was grinning from ear to ear and asking whether I had any more of the pumpkin dip. A favorite had been born!
I probably followed a recipe from a cream cheese package or the internet the first time I made this. However, now that it is a favorite, I feel I have some liberty to tweak it to make it better and certainly more healthy. Most versions have a very high ratio of cream cheese to pumpkin (e.g., 2:1) and a lot more sugar than I like to use. Also, many versions skimp on the yummy spices that make such recipes so delectable. My current recipe cuts back on fat and sugar and boosts the spice for a healthier version that still tastes like a sweet treat.