This is a fun take on a cheeseball- more of a dessert dip. I am not a huge fan of cheesecake, but I do like this.
Chocolate Cheesecake Ball
1 1/4 c. chocolate chips (I prefer semisweet)
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 8oz container of whipped topping (i.e. koolwhip- I use lite), thawed
8 oz cream cheese (again, I usually use the reduced fat version), softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips
assorted cookies/crackers to dip
To begin, melt the 1 1/4 c. chocolate on the stove until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat to allow to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mix until smooth and incorporated. Add the whipped topping and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Add melted chocolate. Mix until totally incorporated.
On a large piece of plastic wrap, spread about 1/3 of the mini chocolate chips.
Scoop the cheesecake filling out of the bowl, and put on top of the chocolate chips, so it forms a big mound.
Carefully sprinkle remaining mini chocolate chips over the ball of cheesecake, trying to completely cover with miniature chocolate chips. Once almost all of the visible surface is covered, gently press into a circle shape.
Wrap plastic wrap around the ball, and secure it fairly tightly. This will help encourage the "ball" shape. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until set.
When ready to serve, put on your serving tray and surround with cookies or sweet crackers. I personally use vanilla wafers, graham crackers, thin mints, and chocolate graham crackers.
As a side note, I bet that using mint extract instead of vanilla would be kind of a good variation, if you like mint in your desserts (I personally feel that mint has no place in desserts, so I won't be doing this).
This makes two softball sized balls, or one cantaloupe sized ball.