Growing up, there are two things that always reminded me of holidays at my Grandma’s house. One was her amazing green beans. I’m fairly certain they were the canned variety that she’d dump into a pot to heat, but somehow she sprinkled them with enough love and comfort that they were my favorite item on the holiday table. The second was my Aunt’s incredible almond pinecone dip. She’s made it for every family gathering since I can remember, and has had to double, triple and finally, quadruple the recipe, we all love it so much!
Now that we have a family of our own, we’ve started to spend the holidays in the comfort of our own home, making our own traditions. But we’re sure to include our family traditions that bring so much love, comfort and warm memories to this time of the year. Including: my Aunt’s almond pinecone dip. If you’re looking for a yummy appetizer or side dish for any gathering, try it! It is sure to not disappoint…until you reach the bottom of the plate and are left in utter sadness that it’s somehow disappeared.
Almond Pinecone Dip
Yields 1 1/2 cups
- 1 ¼ cups whole almonds
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened (both original and light work)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 5 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled (I use turkey bacon, my Aunt uses regular)
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallions (green onions)
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until almonds just begin to turn color, stirring often.
- Combine softened cream cheese and mayonnaise until well combined.
- Add bacon, green onions, dill weed and pepper. Mix well.
- Cover and chill overnight (or for at least an hour or two).
- Remove from fridge and shape dip into pinecones on a serving platter (or any shape you want like a heart, football, etc.).
- Beginning from narrow end of the pinecone, press almonds into dip at a slight angle, in rows. Continue overlapping until dip is completely covered by almonds.
- Garnish with tops of green onions or artificial pine sprigs.
- Serve with crackers and enjoy!