One of my favourites cakes to make (very popular when I was growing up) takes cream cheese instead of butter and it's delicious and so easy! If you take the cream cheese container as your measurement, here's the recipe:
- 1 pot of cream cheese
- 1 pot of muscovado sugar or molasses
- 1 1/2 pot of self-raising wholemeal flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- Chopped dates and/or nuts (optional)
Mix the cream cheese and the sugar. Add the eggs, beaten, one at a time and mix well. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and blend. Add chopped dates to the mix and pour into a greased cake tin. Sprinkle with pecans, almonds, walnuts or other nuts if you like and bake for approximately 45 minutes on gas mark 3 or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Whip some of it into boiled sweet potatoes (one part cream cheese to four parts sweet potatoes) along with a little apricot brandy, some butter, a couple of eggs, some chopped nuts and brown sugar. Bake it for about half an hour to forty five minutes before loading it into a serving dish.
I make my "famous" cheese spread using a 50-50 mixture of cream cheese and various cheese ends from the dairy bin (don't be shy--cut off the mold). Toss it in the food processor [grate harder cheeses finely first] with a bit of fresh thyme, a little garlic, some black pepper, and maybe some parsley if you wish. Always a crowd-pleaser, and it never comes out the same twice because it all depends on the cheese you happen to have left over.
The spread itself freezes nicely (as does the cream cheese itself, come ot think of it).
This is an appetizer that is really delicious (maybe for New Year's?):
French Quarter Cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. onion, grated
4 Tbsp. butter
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. yellow mustard
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Combine cream cheese, garlic and onion with fork. Shape into a 6 x 1 inch disk – refrigerate.
Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Cover (frost) cheese disk with nut mixture. Wrap and chill. Serve at room temperature with crackers (I really like this with Pepperidge Farm Hearty Wheat or some similar type cracker).
Note: when doubling the recipe, only need to make 1 ½ times the topping amount.
I just made a wonderful blue cheese, cream cheese tart. It is really simple--2 9" frozen pie shells, 8 oz. cream cheese, 6 oz. blue cheese, 3 eggs, dash of cayanne, tbsp. of worstershire sauce, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, freshly grated nutmeg (to taste) 3/4 cup of whole milk (or half and half), 1 TBS. of cornstarch, 1 TBSP of chopped chives (I used freeze-dried), 1 cup of toasted pecan pieces. Buzz cheezes and seasoning in processor. Heat oven to 350 and sprinkle pecan pieces over 2 9" frozen pie shells and put on large sheet pan and gently pour cheese mixture over. bake for about 35 min. Chill and serve.
This doesn't use alot at one time but we love scrambled eggs with cream cheese. First, saute some onion in the skillet, then pour in the beaten egg that you've added bits of cream cheese to. Your eggs will be creamy and delicious.
Mix cream cheese, sliced green olives and chopped walnuts. Makes a wonderful sandwich spread.
Oranges and Cream Cheese dessert from Jacques Pepin's "Fast Food My Way". I made it (did not use the optional pomegranate) and it was very good. The only place I see the recipe online is at the link below, a book preview. Scroll down to page 206 and there it is.
I would second (fern's) recommendation of scrambled eggs with cream cheese....although I usually prefer an omelet stuffed stuffed with cream cheese and scallions or chives, whichever is available at the time. In the past, whenever I ordered this omelet out in company, I was always confronted with stares and skepticism.....when my Cream Cheese omelet appeared and I gave each doubter a taste.....they became converts.
I would also suggest mashed potatoes or Twice Baked potatoes as other possibilites.
Here is a Hungarian spread that makes up well with cottage cheese. Everything should be at room temp.
8 oz of cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
3 tbs sour cream
1 tbs more or less of good, sweet paprika
Mix all the above together till totally incorporated. The butter and paprika are good markers - once the mixture has even colour you're fine.
Next: Mortar and pestle works best. Mash the following together in order:.
1/2 tsp caraway seeds mashed
2 anchovy fillets (salted) chopped and mashed fine
2 tsp capers
1 tbs very finely diced or grated onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp +- Keenes mustard powder (or 1 tbsp of Dijon or favourite prepared mustard)
Mix everything together well and refrigerate for a few hours.
Make cream cheese pastry dough - 8 oz. cream cheese, 8 oz. butter, 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat together with mixer or processor. Use this to make delicious rugelach or savoury appetizer pastries.
For rugelach, cut dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a 10-inch circle. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and raisins or chopped chocolate and nuts. Cut into 8 wedges and roll from the outside in to make little croissanty things. Ungreased baking sheet, 350o for 20 minutes. Repeat with rest of dough.
For appetizers, roll out and cut rounds. Fill with duxelles or whatever turns your fire. Fold over into half-moons and press shut. Bake as above. Fabulous.
You can actually make a whole whack of that dough and freeze it in portions for whenever you need it.
I second the pastry dough. I used a recipe similar to this last year to make miniture pecan tarts in a muffin pan. Just press the dough into the cups, fill with chopped nuts, then top with simple syrup. Bake it in the oven until it "sets" and you've got a great holiday desert for the buffet table.