Starters open up the appetite—at the top of our list are cold cream cheese dips! With a few key ingredients from our friends at Karoun Dairies and our Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs, you will find cream cheese dips for crackers can do so much more than serve as a scooped spread.
Tangy & Tempting
We skipped the cream cheese for something with a more tangy taste but still keeping that dreamy creamy texture we love in a good dip. Karoun Dairies labne cream cheese is a kefir cheese, thick and lustrous. In the cinnamon fig dip below, that tanginess really adds balance to a wonderfully festive appetizer.
To balance the sweetness of figs in a savory dip, we leaned on Karoun Dairies goat’s milk feta cheese. This salty cheese is a dream baked or eaten cold, crumbled into the dip. Whether you want a smooth dip, one that has just a little bite or prefer something chunkier, the goat’s milk feta and figs are meant for each other in this herbed scallion labne dip with golden figs.
Chill: Cream Cheese Dips for Crackers
Serve them cold as cream cheese dips for crackers, or cut up fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and celery) to serve alongside as crudites with the savory herbed scallion dip, or fresh fruit (pears and apples are particularly good) with the sweet cinnamon fig dip below.
Heat Up Appetizers: More Ideas
Try those same fillings warmed up. Scoop up the filling to bake into puff pastry parcels.
What is your favorite way to eat them—as fillings for easy baked appetizers or as cold cream cheese dips for crackers?
Cinnamon Fig Labne Cream Cheese Dip
- 1 orange
- 7 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission Dried Figs , stems removed and halved
- 1/3 cup walnuts
- 8 ounces Karoun Dairies labne kefir cheese
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash kosher salt
- Zest the orange. Set aside. Juice the orange.
- Heat orange juice in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in and steep figs for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Toast walnuts. Cool. Coarsely chop walnuts.
- Drain orange juice and pat figs dry. Set aside.
- Mix labne with walnuts, figs, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a food processor until chunky or finely chopped.