December Bake Quest #2 – Cranberries

Sweet & Sassy Cheese Spread

Taken from the Arizona Republic Sunday Edition, December 2006

 Needing a new recipe a few Christmas’ ago for hosting Christmas dinner at our house, I found this one in our local paper.  This image is from the actual recipe, hence the crease in it.  I was going to make this again over the weekend but just ran out of time.

My husband’s family loves this and they all now serve this year round at their get-togethers.  There is something about the sweet-hot combination when also combined with the almond extract and cream cheese becomes quite addictive.  Although it has a bite to it, it is not overly spicy.  The cream cheese accompanies it well and takes care of some the bite from the pepper.

Without further adieu, I give you my cranberry submission for the month of December.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!


  • 1/2 cup of dark or light corn syrup
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract
  • 1 80z package of cream cheese
  • Assorted crackers or crostini

Mix syrup, salt, fruit, almonds and crushed red pepper in a saucepan.  Heat to simmer, stirring to blend all ingredients.  Remove from heat; stir in almond extract.  Let cool to room temperature.  Place cream cheese on a serving plate.  Top with fruit mixture.  Smear on crackers or crostini. 

As a side note, this travels well.  Once the fruit & nut mixture has cooled, place it in a microwave safe container.  It can be later heated up and poured over the cream cheese.  Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “December Bake Quest #2 – Cranberries

  1. I like just about anything piled on a cracker. Crostini is also cracker in my book. Cranberries have that very tart bite, so the crushed red pepper must be divine with them! I have recently discovered cayenne pepper can go in some surprising things and taste divine. MAsha says it’s addictive…yeah.

  2. Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. Perfect for this time of year. I will try it soon! 🙂

  3. Nummmm… Sounds really good. I’d maybe want to try it with the topping still hot. What do you think?

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