Monday, December 19, 2011

Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

I was in charge of an appetizer for a family Christmas party and made this.  It was DEVOURED in minutes! Definitely a keeper!!


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 (approx. 1 large lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
Crackers, for serving

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. 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 large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight) so the flavors have time to develop and the cranberries lose a bit of their tartness.

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

Lime & Coconut Sugar Cookies

I made these for a cookie activity we had a church. They are delicious, though I couldn't really taste the coconut. Some would argue that is a good thing.  Make them and decide for yourself, and add more if you think you need to!

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 large lime, finely minced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling dough in before baking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toast coconut on a cookie sheet in the pre-heated oven for 5-7 minutes.
Keep an eye on it though, it can go from white to burnt if you aren't watching close!
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lime juice and zest. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 -2 inches apart. (Don't put them too close together, and don't make the balls too big as they spread quite a bit.)

Bake 8-10 minutes in the pre-heated oven until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheet for two minutes and then remove and place to cool on wire rack.