Thanksgiving is almost here, and if you’re anything like me, then you are busily planning out the Turkey Day menu. I’ve always found it a bit funny how we scurry around making a delicious feast for Thanksgiving Day, but so little thought is put into the rest of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely love turkey and all of the classic Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts! But what do you do when the family arrives on Wednesday, and all of the food is planned for Thursday? Uhhh….hmmmm. Well, I can’t completely save you from this problem, but this Creamy Cranberry Cheese Dip is super-easy and super-delicious, so it’s the perfect snack to have on hand for the holidays!
This Creamy Cranberry Cheese Dip is loaded with all sorts of Autumn goodness. Chopped cranberries, toasted walnuts, and even a little bit of hard apple cider. After all, it wouldn’t be a family gathering without a little bit of alcohol, right? (If you are looking to make this cheese dip kid-friendly, then just use sparking apple cider instead of hard cider.) This appetizer is great to serve when the family arrives on Wednesday afternoon, but it’s also a tasty snack to eat during the football games throughout the rest of the weekend. (I’ve found that a mixture of Swiss and Gruyere cheeses works best for this recipe. Both types of cheese should be available in your local grocery store, but you might need to check the cheese section near the deli rather than the cheeses in the dairy section.) This dip is slightly sweet from the hard cider and cranberries, but the sweetness balances well with the bite from the Gruyere cheese. Then throw in the occasional crunch from the toasted walnuts, and you’ve got a party!
One of the best things about this dip is that it works great when served with loads of fresh veggies. I usually go with an assortment of carrot sticks, celery sticks, green apples, chips, and/or toasted bread cubes. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have extra celery floating around the refrigerator at Thanksgiving, and this dip is a great way to use it! (Truth be told, this is a great appetizer for New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl, too…I just always seem to make it during Thanksgiving.)