Thanks to my sister for finding and passing on this festive, creamy Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread for bread, crackers or fruit! It’s a bit different from some of the old standards which is always a plus in my book and perfect for the Holiday season.
The dried fruit, besides being so colorful and festive, has just the right intensity and adds a touch of sweetness that offsets the tangy cream cheese (and there’s a little goat cheese, too) and their flavor just bounces off the savory rosemary and garlic. This dip is going to take your mouth in all kinds of directions! I think you’ll get some “wows” from this one.
About Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread:
The goat cheese/cream cheese combo is marvelous, See, the cream cheese mellows the goat cheese & the goat cheese brings a bit of stand up and notice me flavor to the cream cheese w/o being too, too much. The garlic brightens everything up and that rosemary. It’s def the surprise flavor.
Rosemary can be super assertive. Add it to taste and know your audience on this one. Yeah, if you’re serving this to a group of Italians, for instance, who are used to the strong Mediterranean herbs, you can probably let the rosemary shine; for the rest of us, you might want to be a bit careful with the amounts.
That being said, we loved the spread, which was originally from Yellow Bliss Road and featured on 12 Tomatoes. Next time I was thinking how good this would be with some chopped pecans for a little crunch to contrast with all that creaminess.
Making Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread:
As long as your cream cheese is soft enough (put it out on your counter a few minutes before or very carefully microwave it on low or defrost) this is like a 10-minute deal to mix together! Bonus, right?! Bring your spread out a bit early before serving so it can soften to a spreadable consistency.
I like to use dried rosemary; it’s winter here so fresh is pricey, and it’s easier to add dried to taste; fresh rosemary can vary in intensity. I also found garlic powder works better than fresh garlic which can get stronger and stronger tasting as it sits.
Anytime you’re chopping dried fruit, try this little trick: spritz your knife with a tiny bit of cooking spray. It helps to keep the dried fruit from gumming up on your knife.
Saving Money on Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread:
I love that I just happened to have everything I needed for this spread in my pantry & fridge, and surprise, I even had goat cheese because I had spread crackers with it and topped them with this fab Sour Cherry Compote. Aldi has a decent price on goat cheese but it’s an item that I’ll pick up at Costco, especially during the holiday season when I’m making so many appetizers and special salads. If you don’t have either nearby, watch the sales on what I call “near deli” cheese. If your store has hangtags (coupons hanging nearby) its likely they have a long shelf life, sometimes up to a yar. Pick them up and hang on to them until the next great sale happens.
Cream cheese is an item you’ll want to know the regular price, sales price & great sales price – and stock up at the low. It’s almost always on sale during every holiday (see my post on Winning at the Grocer; there’s a link for every major holiday that discusses the best sale items to watch for and purchase.) Aldi and your buyer’s club have great prices on cream cheese all year round but don’t approach a good holiday sale price at your grocery. Stock up, cream cheese keeps for weeks past the “buy by” date and can be frozen in a pinch.
Stock up on nuts and dried fruit during the up to New Years when the harvest is in, sales are priced to move & there will be a lot of coupons. This is a primary season for the producers to move their products and the prices are competitive. Check for the best pricing in the baking, snack and bulk areas. Repackage if the bag is flimsy and freeze the nuts to keep them fresh. It’s worthwhile to look at alternatives than your grocery; if you have a farm supply store, they will probably have amazing prices, sometimes large drug stores do, Aldi is great and your Buyer’s Club will be, too, although both are limited in variety.
Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Spread
- 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt & pepper to taste
Using a mixer, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, honey, rosemary garlic powder and salt & pepper. Mix on high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
Switch to low, or mix in by hand, the dried fruits. Spoon cheese mixture into a small bowl and chill for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers or on crostini.