Flavoring Cream Cheese

Ah cream cheese. Soft, rich, and creamy, slathered on a freshly toasted bagel, layered with slices of smoked salmon. One bite and you’d be sure to think that THIS is the life. So why dare mess with perfection by flavoring it? Well, because it tastes oh so good, and offers an interesting twist to your old favorites.

Garlic & Sundried Tomato Cream Cheeses

One of my favorite things to add to cream cheese is fresh garlic. Blended well into the cream cheese, it adds a sharp bite, complementing the mild cheese flavor without overpowering it. Plus, it has the added bonus of prolonging the shelf life of cream cheese which normally doesn’t last over ten days when opened. Not that it usually lasts long at my house.

Garlic Cream Cheese v. 15 July 2008

1 8oz-package Cream Cheese, softened
1-2 tsp. finely minced garlic

Minced Garlic1. Peel and pound garlic to a fine paste. Try to get it as fine as you can to create a smooth cream cheese. This also ensures that the flavor is even—leaving large pieces of garlic will create a spread where some parts have strong flavor spikes. I usually peel the garlic, pass it through a fine garlic press, then give it a good, even mincing using an old fashioned mortar and pestle.
2. Using a wooden spoon, cream the cheese until you have a smooth, even consistency.
3. Add the minced garlic, a little at a time depending on your personal taste. It’s best to start with just 1 teaspoon or even less if you like it mild. I usually add 2 teaspoons, give or take.

I also love Sundried Tomatoes so it’s only natural that I try using it with cream cheese, isn’t it?

Sundried Tomato Cream Cheese v. 15 July 2008

1 8oz-package Cream Cheese, softened
1-2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp sliced sundried tomatoes, the kind stored in oil. If you’re working with the dry kind, soak in olive oil for a few hours until it’s adequately rehydrated.

1. Follow steps 1-3 in the garlic cream cheese recipe above.
2. Place the sundried tomatoes in a food processor and give it a few pulses to create a roughly chopped consistency.
3. Add the cream cheese and continue pulsing until mixed well.

Store your cream cheese in an airtight container in the fridge. It keeps longer than ordinary cream cheese thanks to the garlic but I don’t recommend storing it too long. Use it as you would ordinary cream cheese. The plain garlic is quite versatile, but the sundried tomato version is used best plain since it has a tendency to overpower other flavors.

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8 Responses to Flavoring Cream Cheese

  1. beehappy15 says:

    the plates…. are so cute! =) cream cheese is a favorite spread of mine on hot pandesal…. will try the garlic cream cheese!

  2. Ms.____2 Be! says:

    Ahhh – garlic and cream cheese…..that makes me drool!
    Oh I love those cow dish, you know where they sell those?
    I kind of collect cow stuff 😛

  3. kaoko says:

    Hope you like it! I really like the added bite, although I admit, sometimes, I look for just plain cream cheese too.

    @Ms._____ 2 Be!
    Hehehe, I’d love to help a fellow cow collector but I bought it years ago from a small marketplace stall. I’ll let you know if I spot some more, but don’t get your hopes up.

  4. ela says:

    looks yummy! im a garlic bread lover so ill try your garlic cream cheese. nice blog.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Now I’ve developed a hankering for bagels and cream cheese… What to do, what to do…

  6. Pingback: Amy MacDonald new hits

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