How To Majorly Upgrade Plain Cream Cheese

Cream cheese, with its mild tang and slight sweetness, is so soft, spreadable, and the perfect ingredient to add to a number of recipes. It is synonymous with bagels and can make the cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese so smooth and delicious you can't stop eating it. Cream cheese also gives cheesecake its rich, velvety flavor. In fact, if you make yourself a Basque Burnt Cheesecake, you will need two pounds of this stuff, per Bon Appetit. And that cream cheese frosting resting atop your favorite red velvet cupcake, wouldn't have the same creamy, rich, and decadent taste that makes your mouth think it is heaven in heaven without cream cheese. 

All Recipes explains that cream cheese is a combination of cream and cow's milk. To be classified as such, it must have 33% milk fat and its moisture content cannot be more than 55%. And if there is one cream cheese that has really put this food on the map, it would have to be Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which according to TODAY, was created in New York in 1872 by a dairyman named William Lawrence. This brick or block, depending on your point of view, packaged in a silver wrap is a staple in many households. We love it plain, but if you want to majorly upgrade your cream cheese, we have a few ideas that you might want to try. 

Plain cream cheese is a canvas

Cream cheese is really a blank canvas that is waiting for your culinary inspiration. This is a cheese that is easy to blend and whip with other ingredients, and folks at the Kitchn have done just that with two major upgrades that will really change its flavors. The first suggestion is to add pumpkin puree along with some equally warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a little allspice to recreate your favorite fall flavors that we often pair with a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Naturally, you can enjoy this on a bagel, but it will work on toast, French toast, or even your favorite pancakes if you are longing for the taste of a crisp autumn morning.

Additionally, if you are more a fan of the citrus flavors, the site suggests trying a bit of lemon zest paired with cranberries and some toasted walnuts. It definitely sounds like some festive holiday flavors to add to your cream cheese. Of course, Good Cheap Eats reminds us that our cream cheese is only limited by our own imagination and taste buds and you can add anything from a lovely jam or preserves to more savory ingredients like salt, onion, or garlic.