Monday, October 24, 2011

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

We're addicted to Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese. My older son tried it late in the season last year and turned to me, eyes huge: "I. Love. This!" It recently returned to store shelves for a second year, and now my younger son — the one who doesn't like cream cheese — is loving it too. We're happy it's back, but what will we do when it disappears from the stores again? The answer, of course: Make our own.

If you have a TJ's near you, definitely seek out this spread. But if you don't, or if you want a version with less fat or less sugar, or it's April and you're craving pumpkin cream cheese, whip this up. I'm comfortable with the amount of sugar here, but you probably can reduce it by another tablespoon or two.

It's delicious on bagels, but don't stop there — this spread is wonderful on celery ribs, quick breads, scones, and fresh warm bread, and as a dip with apple and pear slices or cookies.

We served it as a dip with baked cinnamon chips, made from homemade pumpkin tortillas cut into bat shapes. (Cut tortillas into triangles or into shapes with cookie cutters, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crisp.)

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

If you wish, substitute regular cream cheese or whole milk for the lower-fat equivalents and use prepared pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices. This doesn't have the shelf life of a store-bought blend — if you don't plan to use it up within a couple days, make a smaller batch.

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin pureƩ
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat milk (optional, for thinner spread)

Combine cream cheese through spices in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, blend for a few minutes until light. Gradually add milk, if desired, and continue to beat until light and fluffy. You're not going for the texture of whipped cream, just lightening up the cream cheese.

Chill for at least an hour before serving.

1 comment:

Leah said...

I was just thinking, "man, where can I find a good recipe for a pumpkin cream cheese to go with these ginger snaps?"


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