Buttery Blue Cheese Spread with Walnuts

Buttery Blue Cheese Spread with Walnuts

Source: Southern Living online – December 2000

24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup diced walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup cream sherry (optional)
1 (16 ounce) round bread loaf
Garnishes: toasted diced walnuts, chopped fresh chives, rosemary sprigs

Stir together first 5 ingredients and, if desired, sherry in a large bowl; cover and chill mixture 8 hours.

Let stand at room temperature to soften; or freeze spread up to 1 month, and thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Hollow out bread loaf, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell; reserve inside of loaf for other uses. Spoon softened cheese spread into shell. Garnish, if desired. Serve with sliced apples and pears or with toasted French baguette slices.

Makes about 5 cups (24 appetizer servings).