During the holidays I tend to entertain a lot. Whether it’s a family birthday party (we have a huge family which means LOTS of birthdays), family stopping by, or a holiday event, there are a lot of people that swing through our house on weekly basis. I love having some kind of go to appetizer or dessert that I can just pull out. So during this time of year, this Sea Salt Caramel Cream Cheese dip is perfect.
Yes, the sea salt caramel takes a little planning ahead, but the perfect thing about it is that I can make it ahead of time, keep it in the fridge and pull it out when needed. Add to it a little bit of cream cheese and some fresh fall fruit and whalla! Perfect instant dessert appetizer. Yes, you read that right, this is both a dessert and an appetizer. This tastes so delicious with crisp apples and some fall pears. Sprinkled with chopped pecans on top this has all the ingredients of fall. So, so, good.
Keeping the caramel in the fridge, gives the caramel a longer life, but you want to try and bring the cream cheese and caramel to room temperature for serving. If needed, pop the caramel in the microwave to warm up a bit. Making a small well in your cream cheese for serving keeps your caramel in its little “bowl” and perfect for scooping.
After drizzling your caramel all over the cream cheese, surround this yumminess (I mean, try and resist dipping into that caramel early) with some delicious ripe fruits. And doesn’t this dip look so good next to the Succulent Pumpkin I made a few weeks ago?
Sea Salt Caramel Cream Cheese Dip
Sea Salt Caramel
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans
- 1 block cream cheese
- 3-5 thinly sliced fresh apples and pears
Sea Salt Caramel
Add sugar and water to a stainless steel pot or nonstick pan. Stir to combine. Heat over medium high heat.
Cook until sugar turns to a nice warm caramel color, about 13–14 minutes. Do not stir at all, just swirl sugar and water around pan. (Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.) Use a brush coated with water to dissolve any crystals that might form on the side of the pan.
Turn heat down to low. Add butter to sugar water mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Once combined, add heavy cream and whisk thoroughly.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and salt. Combine thoroughly. Allow sea salt caramel to cool completely.
Take room temperature cream cheese, indent top to make a well. Drizzle sea salt caramel into the well (make sure to save any leftovers of caramel in the fridge for another use!). Slice apples and pears and decorate the serving plate. Sprinkle chopped pecans over caramel to finish.