This cranberry cream cheese spread is a great topping for bagels, or you can use it as a dip or spread for crackers or baguette — and for my favorite nordic treat, lefse!
8 oz of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup of whole fresh (or frozen) cranberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1.5 cups of water
Cutting board, knife, small saucepan, colander, small food processor (optional, but I really love my Cuisinart Smart Stick, because it triples-down as an immersion blender and power whisk)
- Prepare the cranberries
I like to slice about half the cranberries into halves because having some slightly broken will infuse some more of the sugar and flavor from the orange zest.
- Blanch the cranberries
Heat the water, granulated sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan.
Once the water reaches a rolling boil, add the cranberries and blanch just 30-45 seconds, until a few pop.
Drain the cranberries from the water in a small colander.
- Mix it up
Whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar – if using a food processor, process for about 10-15 seconds.
Add the cranberries and pulse three times, then scrape the sides. Repeat 3-4 times, until the cream cheese is a fairly even pink color, but without pureeing the cranberries.