Christmas Appetizer and a Dental Floss Tip!

Cream cheese appetizer

Who would have thought that DENTAL FLOSS would work so well, making this fine Christmas appetizer?

Yes, I made this amazing Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Spread in Chicago this last August when I was on the Kraft Foods Blogging Tour. And I’ve been saving it to share with you until now, as it’s a PERFECT Christmas appetizer.

It’s tasty.
It’s festive-looking.
It’s easy.
Everyone loves Cream Cheese!


So, with these great tips in mind, and my buddies Silvia and Marianne from Kraft Foods, who helped us along, here’s the fabulous recipe! And if you want to watch how to make it, you can, here.

Layered Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Spread
Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 1 hr 10 min Makes: 1-1/2 cups spread or 12 servings, 2 Tbsp.

What You Need!
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, well chilled
3 Tbsp. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, well drained
3 Tbsp. finely chopped drained canned artichoke hearts
2 Tbsp. pesto
2 Tbsp. chopped PLANTERS Smoked Almonds
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley

Make It!
CUT cream cheese horizontally into 3 slices using dental floss. Place 1 slice on large sheet of plastic wrap; top with tomatoes and second cream cheese slice.


COMBINE artichokes and pesto; spoon over second cream cheese layer.


TOP with remaining cream cheese slice, nuts and parsley; press nuts and parsley lightly into cream cheese to secure. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.


How to Cut Cream Cheese with Dental Floss
Wrap 18-inch piece of dental floss around bottom third of cream cheese brick, overlapping ends. Pull ends steadily to cut cream cheese. Repeat to make a total of 3 slices. ( I used the dental floss a bit different than the instructions. I placed the brick of cream cheese on it’s side and slid the floss straight down. So easy!)

Serve with WHEAT THINS or TRISCUIT Crackers. Make ahead–prepared spread can be stored in refrigerator up to 24 hours before serving. For easier spreading and best flavor, remove from refrigerator about 30 min. before serving.

There are so many yummy appetizer recipes using cream cheese. I’d love to hear your favorite?

You can participate in something meaningful for families of need with Kraft Foods called Recipe for Joy. Check it out.

12 comments on “Christmas Appetizer and a Dental Floss Tip!”

  1. Here is a great dip for the holidays. It looks very festive and tastes great!! I’m always asked for the recipe.
    4 cups cranberries; picked over and washed
    1 cup sugar
    1 small bunch cilantro; leaves only
    1 jalapeno; seeded
    1/2 cup scallions
    1 large garlic clove
    Place in a food processor and and pulse until finely chopped but not mushy. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (It tastes better if it sits in the refrigerator at least an hour). Pour over an 8 oz. block of room temperature cream cheese and serve with chips. Yummy!

  2. What a faabulous ‘oh so perfect for the HOLIDAYS’ recipe!
    And what a great TIP about the dental floss!
    This appetizer will be made!
    And I will post!
    I do hope mine looks 1/2 as divine as yours!

  3. What a beautiful presentation! Love it and will definitely be doing it this year! And dental floss is one of my favorite kitchen tools :-) It is also great to pull through the top of a cake that has a little ‘hump’ in the middle to even out the top surface before icing.

    I have so many favorite appetizer ideas that I hosted a party today. I’m giving away party favors so come by if you like. My favorites are the ones that are served in little wonton cups.

  4. Yummy! I have to faves. The cheese log I made for thanksgiving and a yummy cheese dip. But since I’m on vacation I don’t have the recipes and I apparently haven’t posted them. I will have to do that because they’re both amazing. The cheese dip is simply cream cheese, chunky salsa, shredded cheddar cheese and olives all mixed together. YUM-O! I used the cheese log recipe out of the Costco Connections magazine. Another winner.

  5. Yummy! this one is definitely on my list to try for this holiday season. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Looks yummy – two of my fave things…sundried tomatoes and artichokes! Never thought about dental floss for cream cheese. I do use it to cut baked cakes into layers.

  7. Looks delicious!
    My favorite cream cheese appetizer is so easy it is almost embarrassing!
    1. Unroll a tube of crescent rolls
    2. Place a block of cream cheese on top
    3. Sprinkle with fresh dill
    4. Wrap it up & bake for 15-20 min at 350
    Serve with sliced apples.
    Everyone always loves this appetizer!

  8. I always have cream cheese and pepper jelly on hand for a quick appetizer if surprise guests drop in. Everyone loves it with Wheat Thins which I have to hide because we love munching those!
    For a sweet snack when the gals come over, I make the choclate chip cheesecake ball served with graham cracker sticks…they always request it.
    I can’t wait to try your layered spread, looks and sounds wonderful!

  9. That is sooo pretty!! Looks yummy too.

  10. Sounds delish! I loooove sund-dried tomates and pesto, even without the cream cheese!! My favorite appetizer with cream cheese would probably be Crabmeat Dip. The one where you mix crabmeat with cream cheese, a little worcestershire, lemon, than spread on a platter and top with cocktail sauce and some mini shrimp. Serve with crackers. Yum-o.

  11. Genius idea about the dental floss. I made a fresh mozzarella pinwheel with tomato, basil and prosciutto appetizer and had trouble cutting the pinwheels I wonder if the floss idea would work for them…hmmm.

  12. I’m not sure where this came from, but my grandma used to make them for every holiday and now I do the same. My kids all love it and can’t wait for it. (it’s my favorite too)

    Ham/Cream Cheese Rollups

    1 pkg. of cheap, thinly sliced ham (it’s called Buddy’s here)
    1 pkg. of cream cheese (it’s best if you let it soften a bit)
    green onions

    Slice the green onions into strips. Lay out a slice of ham. Spread with cream cheese. Add a slice or two of onion. Rollup and enjoy!!

    Yummmy! We always make several batches.

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