Flavored Cream Cheese

To kick off the DIY Convenience Foods series, we’re chatting about flavored cream cheeses. It’s a fun food you can make yourself.

Flavored Cream Cheese

I’ve always liked cheesecake, but I didn’t like cream cheese until I was an adult. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t. But, once I fell in love, I fell hard. Nowadays, one of my favorite breakfasts/snacks/desserts is a bagel with cream cheese and jam. Super yum! Or if I’m feeling a little savory, cream cheese with onions and sliced tomatoes. Double yum!

One of the things that I’ve noticed about bagels and bagel shops is that they rarely offer you the cream cheese for free. It’s a hefty price to get a little cup of schmear, as they say. In reality, it’s an easy and economical thing to make yourself at home.

Making it yourself

Making flavored cream cheese is not difficult. Simply soften a block of cream cheese and stir in fresh herbs, spices, chopped vegetables or fruit, jam, or fruit zest. You can choose any number of combinations and flavors. Flavored cream cheeses make perfect smears for bagels, crackers, sandwiches, muffins, and quick breads. You can even go as simple as to mix a bit of honey into the cheese.

These things are simple, yet so, so good.

I’m sharing three varieties with you today: Green Onion, Strawberry and Brown Sugar Spice. These flavored cream cheeses are great to make the night before you have a bagel brunch. Serve them at tea time with biscuits or muffins. Spread it on quick bread for a tasty bedtime snack.

Flavored Cream Cheese

Making it cheaper

Now, a container of cream cheese spread costs about $4 at the bagel shop and about $2-3 at the store.

I buy Trader Joe’s light cream cheese for $1.69 per 8 ounce package. I like knowing that the cream cheese has been made without rbst hormones. Target’s brand is hormone free and often goes on sale for $1. When it does, I stock up. Other brands of cream cheese can be had for as little as a dollar per package throughout the year as well.

So, we know there’s gonna be a great price break if we make our own . The amount of extra ingredients that we’re going to mix in is minimal, maybe bringing the price to $2 per half-pound. When we make it ourselves, we get the additional perk of controlling the ingredients. Yay for DIY!

Three Flavored Cream Cheese Recipes

I’ve based these recipes on half a block of cream cheese. I don’t like to keep something like this longer than three days, so I want  a small amount that we can use up before it’s past its prime. The method is easy enough, you could mix up more in a jiffy if need be.

Start with 4 ounces softened cream cheese. I use light, or neufchatel because of its highly spreadable texture. You don’t really need to let it soften much before you can spread it easily. Add in whatever mix-ins you like. Really, your imagination is the limit.

Flavored Cream Cheese

Print This Recipe

Recipe: Green Onion Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 large scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the scallion, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Recipe: Strawberry Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons strawberry jam

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the strawberry jam.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Recipe: Brown Sugar and Spice Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

What’s your favorite flavored cream cheese?

This is part of the DIY Convenience Foods series.

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