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Eggnog Cheesecake Bars and Cultures For Health Giveaway

by Deliciously Organic on December 11, 2012

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #grainfree

As you know, I’m a “from scratch” kind of girl. Sometimes I enjoy digging a bit deeper by making some of the ingredients for my cooking and baking. Making cheese at home is much easier than it sounds and with great starter kits, like the one I used from Cultures for Health, it was a total breeze.

Homemade cream cheese doesn’t taste quite like the cream cheese found in the small tubs at the grocery store. Because real cream cheese needs to sit at room temperature to ferment, it actually has a pleasant sour taste to it. When you make it at home, there won’t be any fillers or preservatives — that makes me feel good about serving it to my family. It’s a fun activity to do with kids, especially since homemade cheese making is a bit of a lost art.

cheesecake bars

This past weekend my youngest daughter and I put on our Christmas aprons, turned on some holiday tunes and made these bars from scratch. First we started with the cream cheese – a very easy process. Then we made the grain free graham crackers for the crust followed by the eggnog. Sure it was extra work, but it gave me some quality time with my daughter and I got to teach her a few new things in the kitchen.

I’ve been so impressed with the products sold by Cultures for Health that I wrote and asked them to offer a giveaway. They provided a DIY Deluxe Cheese Making Kit and a Cream Cheese Starter for one lucky reader. This would make a fantastic Christmas gift and can be shipped to whomever you choose in the U.S.

Enter this giveaway thru the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
1. The two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com and will be notified via email. Each winner has three days to respond before being disqualified and replaced by a new winner. 2. Contest open to US residents only. 3. Giveaway ends on December 15th at 12:01 PST. 4. Official rules can be found in the Rafflecopter widget.

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

Serving Size: Makes 18 bars

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

If you're using homemade cream cheese, you might want to add a few tablespoons more maple sugar to even out the sweetness. After the filling is mixed, taste to see if it's to your taste. If not, stir in a bit more sweetener.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living


Ingredients

    For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers (click here for a whole wheat or gluten free recipe)

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Filling:

  • 1 pound cream cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 large yolks

  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or organic whole cane sugar

  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut open and seeds scraped out (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper (two pieces, overlapping one another). Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moist. Press crumb into the bottom of the pan and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and salt until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, yolks, eggnog, maple sugar, coconut flour, brandy, vanilla and nutmeg and beat on medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix until smooth and creamy. Pour filling over crust and set pan in a large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come up half-way up sides of baking pan. Bake until just set, about 40 minutes. Remove baking pan from water bath and set on a cooling rack. Cool completely, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight. Gently lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into small squares and serve with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg. Bars will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Disclosure: I called Cultures for Health and asked for two samples to review. I am not being paid for this review or giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie December 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I have thought about making cheese for a while- now I’ll really have to try it:)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I absolutely love this idea! What a fabulous bar idea!

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Emily Leigh December 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

These are the types of things I can’t wait to do when I am done with school in six months. This is going to be an awesome Christmas time treat!

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Bree Auringer December 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Beautiful bars! I love that you turned on the Christmas music while making them. I have such fond memories of baking Lefse with my family around the holidays; we always made sure to have Mannheim Steamroller playing!

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Charlotte December 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Oooh, this looks delicious and making our own cream cheese would go perfectly right along side our kombucha & kefir!!!

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Jenny December 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

These bars look delicious! Thank you for the recipe and for offering the giveaway!

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Kristin December 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

These look amazing! My husband is gluten-free and often feels left out when it comes to Christmas cookies. These will definitely help him get into the holiday spirit – thanks for posting! We LOVE your recipes. :)

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Jen B. December 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

This looks so delicious! And I love Cultures for Health website. This would make a great treat for my kids!

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Laura Ann December 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Wow – this sounds so yummy! And I would love to try making homemade cheese :)

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Jessica December 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’ve been wanting to look into making cheese–thanks for the recommendation! Checking out Cultures for health right now :)

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Angela Larkin Crosher December 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I just may have to make these for the holiday parties coming up. I’ve been wanting to make the graham crackers for some time now. This may be the push to do so!

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Jill Gardner December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Those sound so yummy and fun to make!

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Carrie December 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

These sound really yummy. Excited to try them. My kids all love eggnog so I think they will be a hit!

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Aileen Durham December 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Haven’t bought cream cheese since we stopped eating process food. Would be great to be able to enjoy it again without worrying about weird ingredients.

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Lee December 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Those look amazing! I would love to try making my own cheese, too.

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Lindsey McGuire December 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I love making cheese! We have goats so I needed to figure out something to do with all the milk we don’t drink. Ricotta is super easy, but once I got the hang of hard cheeses (like cheddar) that is my favorite. I’d love to get better at soft cheeses though. Thanks for the awesome recipe! Can’t wait to try it this weekend =)

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Elizabeth December 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Sounds delicious. May give cheese making a try!

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Laura December 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’d love to give cheese making (and those dessert bars) a try!

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Whitney C December 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

This looks so wonderfull! I’ve been making fake cream cheese from yogurt, but I would love to try it the real way! Looking forward to making this eggnog recipe for my dad, too!

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Melisa December 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’d love to win!

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Brittany Thomas December 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I’d love to win. I’ve been dying to make my own cheese!

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Collette December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm

So yummy! I’ve wanted to try making cheese but so far I’ve been too scared – maybe this book would help. And I would follow you on Pinterest if I was on Pinterest – so 1 less entry for me :( Thanks for all the great grain free recipes. I would love to see some meal plans you may do with your family.

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Gillian December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Amazing! I was JUST thinking about eggnog recipes AND whether you had posted a new recipe recently! What a coincidence. Thanks for this creative holiday. I will try it using dripped lactose-free yogurt instead of cream cheese, and eggnog made with yogurt instead of coconut milk.

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Summar December 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Could you make these without the eggnog?

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Deliciously Organic December 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I haven’t tried it, but heavy cream or coconut milk should make for a great substitution.

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Jen December 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I’m gunna make these tonight!!

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Heather December 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I’m becoming more and more of a “make from scratch” kind of girl too. It’s both a fun challenge to know that I accomplished (or at least attempted) something that most people wouldn’t even think of being able to make themselves and a good way to control what goes into my body.

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Julie B December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm

it looks so yummy! and very Christmas-y!

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Shaena Fremont December 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

This is awesome!! Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

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Stephanie December 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I’ve been wanting to learn more about cheesemaking. This would be a great way to start!

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Brandi Briseno December 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

These look soo good!

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Kate December 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I am constantly inspired by your recipes and the care that goes into each one!

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Cassie December 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Looks delicious! Thanks for the giveaway!

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Leena December 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Been dying to try making my own cheese! This would be a perfect start!

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Laurel K December 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I LOVE cultures for health and refer many of my friends to their website to find high quality cultures!

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Jeanne S December 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Just discovered your blog. Thank you for providing such a great resource for wonderful healthy food!

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Brilana December 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Those cheesecake bars look fabulous! Would love to make them with cultures for health cheese kit!

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Nicole Stoddard December 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I love to make buttermilk for smoothies with their starter.

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Amy Kim December 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I would love to try to make my own cheese!

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Rebecca December 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

These sound divine, thank you for sharing!

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Sarah December 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I bet your daughter loved the project and time together. The bars sound delicious!

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Lezlee December 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Carrie,
We have made homemade mozzarella and it is delicious! I am looking forward to checking out the Cultures for Health site.

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dynamics December 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Oh to have the time to go back from scratch! I have Farm Journal Cookbooks. That was the kind of cooking you love to do.

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Jennilee Hogancamp December 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

The Cultures for Health website is one of my favorites! I love the Kombucha recipe and I would love to try other cultures as well! :-)

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Marsha December 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Making cream cheese sounds like a great idea. I haven’t been able to find any without added ingredients so I have given up all recipes that calls for it. Would love to try making my own.

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Amanda H December 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Oh this is a great giveaway! I’ve been curious about making cheeses lately so I’d put this kit to good use. Thanks for the chance to win!

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Melody December 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I would love to win this!

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Christy December 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I haven’t tried cheese making yet. It is on my list after yogurt!

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Andrea December 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

My mom makes homemade cheese! My whole family LOVES it! And they would love those cheesecake bars, too!

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Shannon December 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

YUM! Those bars look so good. I’m so happy I’ve found your page. That giveaway is so so sooo cool!

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Kristen December 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

What a great giveaway. My sourdough starter is from Cultures For Health… They are wonderful.

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Sandra Miller December 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I was shopping their site this past weekend . . . how exciting!

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SandyG December 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

What a great idea………hubby loves eggnog and cheesecake, but we do not eat it because we have not figured out a healthy replacement.

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Lisa December 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I LOVE Egg nog! I will be making these soon!

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Lisa December 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

These look yummy!!

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magan December 11, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I agree with you, organic, cultured cream cheese does taste much better than the usual stuff with fillers. Making it at home sounds like fun!

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Jen P December 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm

These look delicious. I’ve been thinking about homemade cheese. It’s on my list of future projects for sure!

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Kel December 12, 2012 at 5:47 am

What a neat recipe!

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Sam December 12, 2012 at 6:03 am

OMG! I love eggnog and cheesecake. I’m definitely going to try this, but would love to learn to make my own cheese to use in this recipe!

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Heidi BH December 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

I’m so happy to have found your website! I’m eagerly awaiting your cookbook and you have inspired me to try a grain-free trial – day 3 and feeling good with significantly lessened cravings! Cheese and yogurt are on my list to try this next year. Thank you for the lovely site and your hard work!

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Deliciously Organic December 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

That’s so great to hear! I’m glad you’re feeling better. I hope you enjoy the cookbook!

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Diane December 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

My girls (all grown) and I are going to love making these. We have all gone to making everything from scratch with healthy ingredients since we found your site. Can’t wait to make the cream cheese!

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Pam K. December 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

I am always super inspired by your recipes and lifestyle! Thanks for posting.

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Christine G December 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

I’ve been looking at their site for a while now. I’d love to try some of their starters, especially the cultured butter one!

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Tracy Furze December 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

Looks yummy! looking forward to making this!

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Emily R. December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am

I had a job making cheese during college, so this sounds awesome to me! Would love to be able to make it in smaller batches at home.

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Karen December 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Carrie – You AMAZE me! These look incredible, I can’t wait to give them a try! I hope I win the contest, too.

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Nichole December 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

It’s amazing how much we can learn to do ourselves and it’s so wonderful to have companies like Cultures For Health . Thanks for the giveaway!

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Janna December 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Wow, these sounds delicious, I love cheesecake and I love eggnog. :)

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Jacqueline December 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Wow, I want to eat this now. You are amazing.

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Pamela Wright December 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Thank you for hosting this giveaway. I would love to win this. Also, I’d like to thank you for posting about soaking and dehydrating nuts. I’ve always gotten stomach aches after eating them and never knew why. Since I tried your method I’ve been able to eat them again for the first time in years.

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Deliciously Organic December 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

That’s great news!

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Taryn December 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Yum

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Sara Kazemi December 13, 2012 at 1:30 am

Yesss. I’ve tried both your graham cracker (grain-free) and eggnog recipes, so, I’m eager to try this one out as well.

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Stacey December 13, 2012 at 4:32 am

Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been yummy ~ I imagine these would be too!

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Girly Green Girl December 13, 2012 at 5:13 am

This is so great… I’ve had such a craving for cheesecake!! Great giveaway too!!

~ GGG

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JP December 13, 2012 at 6:39 am

Love cheesecake!

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Leslie December 13, 2012 at 7:17 am

I’ve never done anything like this before. I would love to try!

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C.Mallory Wyatt December 13, 2012 at 8:37 am

Would coconut sugar work in the recipe or agave ?

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Deliciously Organic December 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

I haven’t tried it, but coconut sugar should make for a nice substitute.

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Faith Strunk December 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

I too have thought about making cheese- I’ve made sourdough starter and yogurt before, this sounds interesting and would be a good way to start.

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manda kay December 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

Great giveaway!

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Tonya December 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

What a wonderful idea. I love cream cheese.

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Amanda December 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

These look so god! Thank you for the recipe and I love your site!

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Megan Lane December 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

oh my gosh, these sound/look AMAZING!!

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Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} December 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I almost bought eggnog at the store tonight, but didn’t know what to do with it! Dang it… next time!

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Nicole [More Beets, please!] December 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I’ve never made homemade cheese, but excited to try!

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Dana December 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I didn’t even know it was possible to make cream cheese! How interesting !

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Grace December 14, 2012 at 3:08 am

Cream cheese eggnog bars…. Am I in heaven!!??? :) Can’t wait to try these, they look amazing!

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Patricia December 14, 2012 at 5:05 am

Yum. I have always wanted to make my own cream cheese.

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Sally December 14, 2012 at 5:05 am

Would love to try it.

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Stacy Spensley December 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

Oh fun! I tend not to buy cream cheese, so I never use it. I would love to try making it at home, however.

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Monika December 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Those little bites look fabulous! A cheese cake to get us in the Christmas spirit. Thanks for sharing.

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davesgrace@gmail.com December 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Thank you so much to you and your beautiful recipes I too have become a “from scratch” kind of gal as well. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Thank you for giving me the knowledge to care for my family in the ways I never knew I’d be able to.

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Jill December 16, 2012 at 7:00 am

Good quality cream cheese makes such a difference! This looks fabulous.

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Marla December 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

Great festive flavors here Carrie!

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Noreen Tallant December 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm

This recipe is also great for big parties. The presentation is absolutely wonderful and it looks really delicious. Good quality ingredients are always better so it is really good to have the best cream cheese.

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aida mollenkamp December 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

What a delicious way to ring in the holidays!

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