1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 t. almond extract
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. dried cherries
3 T. sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Remove from heat and add almond extract; let cool. Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar; add in cooled butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries. Spoon into serving dish and set aside. Toast almonds in a pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until light golden brown. Let cool. Garnish top of dip, lightly pressing almonds into top layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve it up “sweet” with graham crackers, cinnamon pita chips, fruit or balance out the sweetness of the dip with “salty” pretzels, Triscuits®, Ritz Crackers®, etc.

Terri Brogan, Kalamazoo