Get a Cheap Thrill With Sweetened Cream Cheese

Due to one gaffe that resulted in a broken left ankle, I stayed with my parents for a week because I am still – three weeks after the incident – not quite able to do simple household chores or cook for myself in any meaningful way. . Fortunately, my stepmother, Annette, is a very good cook, so I did not go hungry and even enjoyed eating other people’s food.

I may not have inherited Annette’s genetics, but I have inherited her sandwich-making skills, as well as her ability to add startlingly simple little additions that make a difference. (It’s like putting a damp paper towel under a bowl of soup to keep it from slipping.) These days, Annette loves to sprinkle her things with sweetened cream cheese, a little luxury that doesn’t cost much but is a lot of fun. On fruit, on banana bread, on simple cookies, sweet cream cheese gives everything it touches a cheesecake vibe, and it’s a good vibe.

Making sweet cream cheese is easy. Simply leave 8 ounces of full fat cream cheese on the counter until soft, then mix it in with 1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar, depending on your taste. You can add some vanilla, almond extract, or liqueur if you like. Knead it all with a plastic spatula to get a very thick and smooth dough, or beat it with an immersion blender or hand mixer, or to make it super fluffy and smooth. Now you’re ready to add some sweet luxury to your life.

My personal favorite use for sweetened cream cheese is to spoon it on top of a wine-poached pear, but a chilled canned pear is pretty good in a pinch. Breakfast carbs are another obvious choice, because who doesn’t want to eat a deconstructed cheesecake for breakfast?


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