When I think of holiday scents, my mind immediately wanders to fresh evergreens, cinnamon and oranges. I love apple cider warmed with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. And I adore the scent of orange cranberry scones baking on a cold winter morning. Halos Mandarins asked me to create something deliciously fun for the holidays, and my mind immediately when to our brunch. Every Christmas morning we take a pause in our gift opening to fill our bellies with something warm, something sweet and something savory. This typically includes some eggs, sausage, baked pastry and a fruit tray.
This year I plan to kick the fruit tray up a notch and offer fruit skewers featuring mandarins and a citrus fruit dip to give my taste buds the flavor they love so much this time of year.
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1 container (6 oz) orange crème yogurt
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated mandarin peel
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Serve with fruit. Refrigerate any leftovers.
I love working with mandarin oranges because my kids love them! They are much easier to peel than traditional oranges and are the perfect kid size. But most importantly, I never have to wonder if they are going to be too tart. I’ve never had a mandarin that is anything but deliciously sweet!
Since I knew I definitely wanted to include the mandarin oranges in my fruit skewers, it only made sense to use the peel for my fruit dip. One mandarin was the perfect size for 2 teaspoons of grated peel.
While this dip could easily be served with a traditional fruit tray, I think the skewers are fun for kids and make serving easier with a crowd. I chose to stick with fruits that follow a Christmas color scheme by using green grapes, strawberries, green apple and raspberries along with the mandarin oranges to represent gold. I also use cookie sticks designed for baking rather than traditional skewers for safety.
If you plan to prepare your fruit skewers ahead of time, consider giving the fruits prone to browning (like apples) a little bath in lemon-lime soda. This trick works well without any sour aftertaste.
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign however my thoughts are my own.