Sweet and Spice and All Things Nice

Before we close up the computers for one last holiday (and birthday) fling this weekend, we wanted to share a new appetizer recipe we whipped up for our Christmas parties, a Cranberry Bruschetta.

We started by whipping up our traditional cranberry sauce recipe with a little twist. This time we tossed in some Cointreau with the fresh orange juice and zest. We also substituted agave nectar for some of the sugar and added some crushed red pepper flakes to the mix. I also used this as a chance to try out my new immersion blender –  I never knew making cranberry sauce could be so quick and easy (and with a ton less dishes!). While the cranberry sauce cooled down, we prepared the bread  by slicing it on a bias and brushing it with olive oil. 

We toasted the bread at 350F for 10 minutes. Then we spread each slice with a bit of cream cheese.

Next we diced up a fresh jalapeño pepper (I didn’t get any in my eyes this time!),

and we topped each slice with a few small spoonfuls of the cranberry sauce and a sprinkle of jalapeños. We did leave some slices without the peppers for those with an aversion to heat. 

We toasted the prepared slices in the oven for another 10 minutes and they were ready to serve.

Mike and I sampled a few right away and loved the results. It was a 3 spoon appetizer for Mike and a 4 spoon appetizer for me. The sweetness of the cream cheese and the slight tartness from the cranberry sauce were a good balance. The peppers gave a hint of heat, but it wasn’t overwhelming by any means. If you want to up the heat, we’d recommend dicing another pepper and increasing the amount per slice.

Mr. N isn’t a big fan of cranberry sauce, so he only came in with 1 spoon. Miss A, the cranberry lover that she is, also gave these a 3 spoon. She preferred the slices without peppers. That said, she was far more taken with all the bowls of chocolate candies lying about at Grammie’s. It’s no wonder she wouldn’t go to bed that night!

Cheers everyone and Happy New Year! We wish you a wonderful and joyous evening filled with fun, friends, family, love and laughter. We also wish you a relaxing (hangover-free) New Year’s Day and a New Year filled with health, love and deliciousness! Don’t forget to stop by our Chopped Challenge post before tomorrow afternoon to vote for which baskets Mike and I will get to play with for his birthday celebration.

We’ll see you in the New Year with our next international cooking adventure and the results of our Chopped date night. Cheers!

Print this recipe: Cranberry Bruschetta

37 thoughts on “Sweet and Spice and All Things Nice

  1. Charles says:

    Yay for immersion blenders 😉 Santa pulled through for you this year? 😀 Just you wait until you’ve had it 6 months… you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

    Beautiful, festive take on bruschetta – I bet they were deliciously juicy, with just a hint of cranberry sharpness!


  2. Karen says:

    Not only is this a pretty appetizer but I love the combination of creamy, tart and spicy. How clever you are. All my best to the two of you and the little foodies. Have a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year.


  3. Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says:

    What a deliciously festive appetizer, Kristy. I really love the colours and how simply it all came together. You could probably use left over cranberry sauce to make these too! Have fun with the birthday Chopped Challenge, I can hardly wait to read about it. Happy New Year (happy birthday, Mike)


  4. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Mmm…what a great idea Kristy! I particularly like the addition of fresh jalapeño on top and the cointreau/orange juice combination sounds heavenly… this is a keeper!

    Happy Birthday Mike! I hope your family has a wonderful celebratory day together. Blissful New Year wishes to All ~


  5. smartfoodandfit says:

    I love this recipe! Around the holidays I always make a big batch of cranberry sauce and we make cranberry cream cheese sammies for my kids lunch. I like how you added some spice to the cran sauce, red pepper flakes and jalepeno’s. The colors are so vibrant and love how the green pops out too.
    Can’t wait for your results for the cooking challenge. Have a Happy New Year! Oh, I’m following you on pinterest! 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Oooh! Cranberry and cream cheese sandwiches sound great! Thanks for following on Pinterest. I’ll make sure to follow ya back. 🙂 Especially looking forward to your clean living posts.


  6. ThermomixBlogger Helene says:

    What a great introduction to your blog! I love this flavor combo and the colors are just so darned pretty too. This prompted me to then view each and every recipe you have posted and I can’t see even one that I wouldn’t want to try. Oh no — what am I gonna do now?!? Oh, I know — I’ll bookmark this site. Done!


    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Didn’t figure you would have paired it with bread. 😉 It does make me want to consider jalapenos as an additional ingredient to my cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving next year though. Happy New Year Kay!


  7. sallybr says:

    awesome! cannot imagine anything more “Christmas-y” than your crostini, what a great idea!

    wish you and all your sous-chefs a FANTASTIC New Year, and look forward to more and mo posts from you….


    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Sally! And thanks for following along. I do believe you were one of, if not the very first, commenters on our blog. 🙂 That means a lot. Happy New Year!


  8. ChgoJohn says:

    What a great idea, Kristy! You really got my attention when I saw that you were using cream cheese. YUM!

    Here’s wishing you, ChefDad, and my favorite SousChefs every happiness in the New Year!


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks John! I had an appetizer at a restaurant a few weeks back with jalapenos and cream cheese. I knew I had to do something with it and cranberries seemed a good fit. Plus I had a ton of leftover bags of cranberries. 😉


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