This unique cheese spread has a combination of nutty, sweet, spicy and salty tastes. It is a perfect dip for cocktail parties or barbecues. It is often served with crackers, but it goes well with nachos or tortilla chips too. If you want a sharper cheesy taste, go for cheddar instead of cream cheese. I also love using the grated cheese mixes that you can find in the supermarket. They definitely add to this dipâ€™s interesting flavor.
Makes 2 cups
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons of jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
8 oz. cream cheese
Crackers, for serving
Place the cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, jalapenos, lemon juice and five-spice powder in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it summer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it becomes light and fluffy. You may use an electric mixer if desired. Fold in the cranberry mixture. Add the sliced almonds and orange zest. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined. Serve warm or at room temperature with assorted crackers.
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