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Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,542
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

I have consciously avoided cream cheese my entire life, a hold over from my Weight Watcher days, I guess.  Now it seems every recipe includes cream cheese, especially those for chicken.  What will these extra calories do for the recipe?  Is there a decent substitute?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,033
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

Its too high in fat for me.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,521
Registered: ‎03-30-2014

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

It just adds a horrible amount of salt and fat.  Stay away!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,911
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

[ Edited ]

It adds a creamy thickness and flavor.  For cakes, creamy flavor, density, and moisture.

 

Yes, the calories are deadly, so I never add it to my cooking.  For cakes, sometimes for special occasions.   

 

As a substitute, F A G E Greek yogurt works best for me and has a similar taste and consistency to softened cream cheese other than it's a bit tangy. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,816
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

[ Edited ]

@depglass   You can make your own cream cheese by using yogurt and just straining it in cheesecloth until it gets thick.  I read that you can use store bought if you like (F A G E  is the brand that I was told works best).  Just strain it for 24 hours in the refrigerator and make sure your strainer is set above the liquid so it will completely drain.  (I place cheesecloth in a strainer and then suspend it over a bowl)

 

I make my own yogurt using skim/nonfat milk using my Instant Pot.  I have made the WW cheesecake recipes using it, so there is an alternative to using the full-fat (although yummy) cream cheese if you are interested.  

 



......You look like I need a drink.....
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,257
Registered: ‎08-28-2010

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

Cream cheese offers a richness and creaminess to a dish as well as flavor.

 

You can substitute it with neufchatel cream cheese which is lower in calories and fat.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,431
Registered: ‎10-03-2011

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

[ Edited ]

Cream cheese is a fat that usually replaces oil in some baking, but it is also used in sauces, dessert fillings, frosting, or alone.  I buy it in bulk at Costco.  It’s a healthier fat and a staple in the ketogenic way of eating. Love it! 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 23,857
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

I have avoided it so long that I simply don't have the taste for rich, gooey or creamy things much.  I can't even think about all those casseroles with so much fat in them.  

 

I do like it at a party with hot pepper jelly on top to spread on a cracker!  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,022
Registered: ‎06-13-2010

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

It can also help to form a slight "crust" to pound cakes. Most cream cheese pound cakes will form one when baked on low. Cook's Country has a delicious recipe with great results every time. It might not be waistline friendly, but it is palate pleasing.😁

 

~~~All we need is LOVE💖 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,716
Registered: ‎04-14-2013

Re: What does cream cheese do for a recipe?

Excellent in lasagne.  Processed with sour cream and mozzerella and layered with the red sauce, it makes for a delicious dish.

 

I know what you mean - certain foods carry the "taboo" label but small portions fix that.  Honestly, I make this dish for DH and have a salad, myself.  It's just too tasty!  I might want it all the time and I'd be much larger than I want to be.  He burns calories much more readily (darn it).

Cogito ergo sum