We made this treat for Julia's birthday snack at school this week. She has a little way lately of rolling her eyes back into her head and smiling dizzily whenever she thinks that something is really good, and when she first tasted this, the performance lasted nearly a full minute -- and so she was quite giddy when I suggested it as her contribution to the celebrations.
I misread the original recipe when I first made it, and used four packages of cream cheese instead of three to this gargantuan amount of brown sugar, but upon reflection we actually like it better with more cream cheese. It's a little less toothachingly sweet, and it goes further at a party!
It's best with Granny Smith apples, I think -- the tartness and brown-sugary-sweetness together are wonderful -- but Galas are nice, too, and really, you can hardly go wrong.
Cream Cheese Apple Dip
32 oz. cream cheese
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Granny Smith apples
Beat all ingredients except the apples together until well-blended.
Core and cut the apples into wedges, and serve with the dip.
Keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Makes about 16 1/4-cup (2 oz.) servings. Preparation time, about 5 minutes.