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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Dip

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My siblings love to mock me for my love of cranberries, but I have yet to meet a cranberry recipe I don't like. As a result, I'm drawn to cranberry recipes with a magnetic force and I just can't resist trying new ones frequently. Fresh or dried, cranberries never seem to disappoint in pancakes, bruschetta, salads, or cookies. This cracker dip was a favorite when I made it for my family on Christmas Eve. I made the cheese and cranberry mixtures a day ahead of time, then topped the cheese with the cranberries just before serving. The cranberry, caramelized onion mixture was dynamite atop the creamy cheese. Our family dog Guffman couldn't resist this dip and hopped up to try and steal some from the table. I can't blame him, this stuff is addicting!

One Year Ago: Grammy's Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Dip
from Beantown Baker

-8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
-4 oz. goat cheese room temperature
-1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese, room temperature
-2 tsp vegetable oil
-1 medium sweet onion, diced
-1 tsp sugar
-1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup water
-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth. Beat in cheddar cheese until well combined. Spread cheese mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Cover and chill for 1 hour, or overnight.
2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and saute until softened. Add sugar and mix to coat onions. Continue to cook until over low heat, stirring every few minutes, until onions are caramelized (approximately 10-15 minutes).
3. Remove onions from skillet and set aside. Add cranberries, water, and sugar to skillet and stir to dissolve sugar. Over medium heat, cook cranberries until they pop and are softened (10 minutes). Once mixture thickens, stir in balsamic vinegar and mix in onions. Stir to combine and allow to cool. If not serving immediately, cover mixture and refrigerate.
4. Just before serving, spoon cranberry mixture on top of cheese mixture. Serve with crackers.