Cranberry-Praline Mascarpone Spread Recipe

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Cranberry-Praline Mascarpone Spread

For a sweet ending, serve this spread for dessert with an assortment of purchased cookies and fresh fruit.

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter (no substitutes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or tart red cherries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • Orange peel curls (optional)
  • Assorted crisp cookies, such as Pirouettes or shortbread
  • Fresh fruit, such as strawberries, apple slices, pear slices, and grapes
  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil; set aside.
  • For praline, cook almonds or hazelnuts, sugar, butter, and vanilla in a heavy 8-inch skillet over medium heat (do not stir) until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook until sugar turns golden, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Immediately spread coated nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Cool nuts and break into chunks; finely chop. Store in an airtight container.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat mascarpone cheese, orange peel, and Grand Marnier or orange juice with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Stir in dried cranberries or cherries. Stir in finely chopped praline and 1 tablespoon milk, if desired, to thin consistency of spread. Transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, garnish with orange peel curls. Serve with cookies and fruit. Makes 1-1/2 cups (twenty-four 1-tablespoon servings).
Make-Ahead Tip
  • You can prepare the components of the spread up to 3 days in advance. Store the praline in an airtight container at room temperature and the cheese mixture, covered, in the refrigerator. Just before serving, stir the two together.
Nutrition Facts
  • Calories 70, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 13 mg, Sodium 11 mg, Carbohydrate 4 g, Protein 2 g.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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