Sunday, December 23, 2012


My go-to appetizer:

Happy Holidays!

With lots of entertaining and hungry guests waiting for the big meal, this is a great thing to serve, and it is fail safe!
You can buy some fig preserves or chutney and use cream cheese, or make this fig compote from scratch:


  • 1 1/2 cup whole or halved walnuts or pecans
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Kentucky bourbon (Jim Beam Black® is best)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups diced dried Mission figs (or other combination of dried fruit)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or Limoncello
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 package (.4 ounces) fruit pectin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, Brie, or Stilton, softened or at room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant. Shake the pan every minute or two, so the nuts do not burn. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter, sugar, and bourbon in a saucepan on low heat; then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and stir well.
3. Add figs (or other dried fruit), vanilla extract, lemon juice or Limoncello, and salt. Let mixture steep for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit is plump and soft.
4. Sprinkle pectin over fruit. Stir well and turn up heat to medium. Cook until bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
5. Toast bread, if using, and cut into triangles; slice bagels, if using, toast and cut each half into four to eight pieces.
6. Pour warm compote over cheese and scatter nuts on top. Serve with assorted toasted Panera® breads and bagels, such as French, Whole Grain, and Honey Wheat Breads or Cinnamon Crunch, Cinnamon Swirl & Raisin, or French Toast Bagels.

TIP: If you prefer, use a combination of golden raisins, dried cranberries, or diced dried apricots in place of some or all of the figs. Just make sure your final amount is 2 cups total.



  1. Um, yes! I might have to go right out to Safeway and make this tonight, so yummy:)


  2. I love chutney. This looks great and would go fantastic with a glass of red wine. Happy Holidays, you crazy girls.

  3. This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it! Merry Christmas!


Thank you for taking the time to comment and support our blog! You all make our day!