The peppers (red, yellow, and jalapeno) are all ripening in the garden now; so I’ve been making hot pepper jelly again (click here for the recipe). It’s great to have around for gifts and this quick appetizer - the appetizer is so easy it barely qualifies as a recipe. But, it’s always a hit wherever and whenever it’s served:
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 jar (4 ounces) hot pepper jelly*
Place a serving dish big enough to hold the cream cheese on another larger serving dish. Place the softened cream cheese in the center dish, stir the hot pepper jelly in the jar to loosen it up, and pour over the top of the cream cheese – use enough to cover the cream cheese and pool around it a bit (save the unused jelly to replenish the dip with jelly later). You can microwave the cream cheese and pepper jelly for 30 – 45 seconds at this point to soften it up if desired, but it’s also fine to serve without microwaving. Arrange the Ritz crackers on the larger tray surrounding the cream cheese & hot pepper combination and serve. What could be easier? This is also a very portable appetizer, you can bring the serving trays and ingredients and put it together in minutes almost anywhere.
*Dickinson’s makes a hot pepper jelly that works for this dish, if you don’t make your own hot pepper jelly.