Freezing cream cheese vs. cream cheese frosting
OK, from searching various sites, it seems it's strongly recommended to NOT freeze cream cheese but that cream cheese FROSTING freezes perfectly. Does the butter make THAT much difference? Especially when everyone's different preferences probably means there are many different ratios of butter-to-cream cheese out there?
If I really can't freeze the straight cream cheese, how long can an opened block last in the fridge? I was able to get a 3lb block for less than the price of three 4oz blocks so I went for it, but now it's been opened and I'm wondering if the plastic wrap I put around it is enough to make it last.
Or another option, if I already know I only want to use it for frosting and cheesecake mixture for topping/swirl, should I just mix that up and freeze THAT? The butter (in the frosting) and the egg (in the cheesecake), or possibly the sugar in both is enough to help the cheese freeze well?
Yes, the butter and sugar make that much difference. Cream cheese I've frozen ends up grainy, not easy to blend. Now I have used frozen cream cheese to make up dips that are then baked and I've used it blended with salsa and used to fill phyllo triangles that were frozen and then baked, but the seperation just seemed to read as part of the chunkiness. It may be the sugar that keeps it freezing well because the coarse grains seperate the molecules. So, I recommend making up the icing and freezing that, freezing any part you want to use for a hot dip and using the rest within about a month.
Intriguing. Unfortunately I'm a bit short on time before leaving on a trip (long story, but the refrigerator holding the cheese is not actually at my house) so I will probably have to wrap the rest of the block well and refrigerate for the next 2 1/2 weeks until I can return and make frosting & filling to freeze. Hope it works out!
I'm being cautious because I do need a lot of time...where I'm living I am only baking very occasionally, and the next soonest time is probably beginning of October (just opened the package yesterday) and I won't finish the huge block that time either...probably need to bake 4 times total at minimum to use up that much!
Maybe I should cut enough for next time, wrap it up and keep it in the fridge, then freeze the rest (or make frosting or cheesecake filling with some of it to test how they freeze).
I've frozen cream cheese several times in the past and haven't noticed anything different about it.
I usually buy a 2 pack from Costco (Philly lite) and do it just about all the time when I buy 'em. It gets dill mixed into it and used as an accompaniment to smoked salmon and crackers.