Apple dip is pictured in Bloomington, Indiana on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (Photo by James Brosher)

Honey-Cinnamon Mascarpone Cheese Dip

This honey-cinnamon mascarpone cheese dip is perfect for fall picnics or nights around the fire. Serve with sliced apples, pears and pumpkin crackers. 

We’re well into October, but it still feels like summer in Indiana. As much as I love afternoons spent swimming in the lake and late-night ice cream runs, I’m more than ready for fall to arrive.

There are so many reasons fall is my favorite time of year in Bloomington. The cooler temperatures and smell of fires draw me outdoors. The Farmers’ Market is full of my favorite produce — apples, pears, figs and squash. Our favorite hiking trails seem to change each week, constantly revealing new colors. And, the hearty food sticks to your ribs in the most comforting way.

While temperatures are still in the 80s, I couldn’t wait any longer to start incorporating some of my favorite fall flavors into my cooking. I associate this time of year with baking, so cinnamon and nutmeg always taste like fall to me.

This recipe is perfect for straddling those weeks between summer and fall, when it’s still too hot to spend hours over the stove. I whipped this dip up on a recent afternoon when some friends invited us over for beers. We devoured it with apple slices and pumpkin crackers. But, this could also be a delicious spread on a bagel, or a great base for a fall crostini.

Here’s hoping we can break out our chili pots sometime soon!

Honey-Cinnamon Mascarpone Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Directions

  1. Combine mascarpone, honey, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium  mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until combined and fluffy. Transfer dip to a decorative bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat a small pan over medium-low heat. Once pan is warm, add walnut and toast until fragrant — about two minutes. Remove walnuts from heat and cool. Once nuts are cooled, chop them finely.
  3. Top dip with chopped walnuts and remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

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