How-to Make a Tree Shaped Cheese Spread

You can turn the Spruced-Up Cheese Spread recipe into an appetizing tree and it's simple to do. The only extra ingredients needed are 1/4 cup of softened cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of milk and a slice of process American cheese. First, find a pretty tray or cover a board (about 15 x 15 inches) with aluminum foil or bright wrapping paper and plastic wrap.

Make the spread as directed, reserving the pecans, parsley and pimientos for garnish. To evenly spread the mixture into the shape of a Christmas tree, drop spoonfuls in mounds. To speed the process, use a miniature ice cream or cookie scoop that hold 2 tablespoons. Begin with one mound for treetop. In the second row, drop three mounds. Follow with rows of two mounds, four mounds, three mounds, and five mounds. Center the remaining cheese spread (about two mounds) below tree for the trunk.

Carefully spread the cheese mixture with icing knife to form a tree. Decorate it by sprinkling parsley and pimiento "ornaments" over the branches and pecans over the trunk. To make the "garland," beat the cream cheese and milk in a bowl. Cut a small hole in the corner of a plastic bag and insert an open start tip #20. Fill the bag with the cream cheese mixture and pipe it across the tree. Using a small star cookie cutter, cut a star from a cheese slice; attach it to the treetop with a small amount of cream cheese mixture.