To create a different but fantastic appetizer to take to my Mother-in-Law's house for Thanksgiving lunch. I knew that other people were bringing desserts, so I figured I'd make something different. I'm a huge fan of cranberries, and they're so pretty and festive during the holidays, so when I ran across the recipe for a spread, it sounded like the perfect option.
- 1 package - 8 oz - cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- Crackers for serving - I used Townhouse
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon until fluffy. Stir in the cranberries and pecans. Refrigerate overnight (the flavors will have time to blend together nicely that way). Garnish as desired. As you can see, I left a few pecans and cranberries un-chopped so I could use them for garnishing as well as leaving a small handful unmixed in order to sprinkle them on top. The orange curls added a nice touch, too.
It turned out prettier than I thought it would. And though I had some serious problems zesting the orange, I was lucky enough to have two tangerines on hand, so I tried them instead and met with success. They made for pretty curls as well.
As always, my husband refused to try it because he hates cream cheese. If possible, I sample my food before I serve it, just to make sure that it didn't turn out to be a complete disaster. This was so good that I almost didn't take it with us. I could've eaten the whole bowl myself. I received some very nice complements on it from the other guests as well.