Everything Bagel Dip with Za'atar Crackers / by Chelsea Zwieg

I am a huge fan of dips. That's a weird sentence, but really, I am. Taco dip in particular. If you had a couple hours and a vested interest in my taco dip needs, I would tell you the story about my sister and I encountering the Taco Dip Angel at the grocery store, but I'll spare you. Just know that if I'm at a party and see taco dip, I will be drawn to it like a magnet with a flagrant disregard for all guests, furniture and small children that get in my way. Why this obsession with something that is essentially sour cream and taco seasoning slathered into a plastic tray and topped with wilty lettuce and watery diced tomatoes? Because, no matter how hard I try, taco dip never tastes as good when I make it at home. Never. Which is why this is not a story about taco dip. It's about something better. Which I wasn't sure was possible.

This takes all of the flavors of an everything bagel (with cream cheese, of course) and packs them all into a dip that is absolutely addicting. Plus, it's scooped up with (homemade!) za'atar crackers. Take that taco dip and Tostitos (just kidding, I still want you). 

I'm a little late to the za'atar game but I am fully on board now, thanks mostly to some serious Ottelenghi cookbook reading over Christmas. It's a Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, sumac, sesame and salt (and sometimes oregano or cumin depending on where you buy it) and has a wonderful flavor that I have a hard time describing. Probably due to the fact that I'd never had sumac before. It works beautifully on these crackers but can also be used on chicken, beef, vegetables, yogurt or whatever else your za'atar lovin' heart is telling you. 

This dip is perfect for New Year's parties but comes together so easily that it is just as suited for an afternoon snack. If you're not up to making crackers (which you should really try, because they are so easy) this would go great with bagel chips or sesame sticks. I even spread it on my turkey wrap for lunch today and I'm not complaining. Although, someone might be complaining soon because I can't find any breath mints. Oops. 

Have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve! 

Everything Bagel Dip 

Makes about 2 cups

| Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 7 oz. plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds

| Instructions

  • In a mixer, beat cream cheese until soft, about 1 minute. Add yogurt and beat until combined. 
  • Scrape down sides of the bowl and add garlic powder, onion powder, 1 tsp. sesame seeds and 1 tsp. poppy seeds. Mix to combine. Transfer dip to a bowl and sprinkle with remaining sesame and poppy seeds. 

Za'atar Crackers

Adapted from The Kitchn 

| Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup za'atar

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. 
  • Add water and oil and stir until a soft dough forms. If you are having trouble incorporating all of the flour, add more water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until everything is combined. I ended up needing about 1 tbsp. more for my dough.
  • Divide dough into two parts. Transfer first half to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a large rectangle, about 1/8 in. thick. If the dough starts to spring back as you are rolling it out, allow it to rest for a few minutes and then continue rolling. 
  • Lightly brush the surface of dough with water and sprinkle half of the za'atar evenly over the dough. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into small squares or rectangles, depending on how big you want your crackers. Transfer crackers to a prepared baking sheet. They do not expand at all when baking so crowd those puppies on there. Pierce each cracker 2-3 times with a fork to avoid puffing while baking. Bake 12-13 minutes, until edges are brown. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Store in an airtight container, 3-5 days.