Introduction: Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

A simple concept – tart cranberries, sugar, spicy jalapenos and a few other flavors combine to make a sweet and spicy relish of sorts that smothers unadorned cream cheese. The silky, cool cream cheese offsets the gentle spice of the dip perfectly and compliments the play on sugar and spice. Served with crispy crackers, this dip is a perfect snack anytime!

12 ounces fresh cranberries
4-5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, light or regular, softened
Crackers, for serving

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped (alternately, you can do this task by hand). Add the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, lemon juice and salt and pulse until the ingredients are well combined and finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a covered bowl or tupperware and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight) so the flavors have time to develop and the cranberries lose a bit of their tartness.

When ready to serve, spread the cream cheese in an even layer on a serving plate or 9-inch pie dish. Top with the cranberry-jalapeno mixture, spreading evenly over the top of the cream cheese.

Refrigerate for up to an hour before serving. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

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