It's just as easy as you might think. Soften up some cream cheese at room temperature, then add your flavorings -- sun-dried tomato, chives and herbs, ground up lox, whatever might take your fancy. For my first attempt I chose to make a sweet variation, mostly because I had the ingredients on hand.
I toasted some walnuts, waited until they were completely cool, then chopped up a small handful. I added that to my softened cream cheese along with a large, heaping tablespoon of honey that had started to crystalize. I decided that the crystalized honey might make for an interesting dimension to the end result, so I chose not to warm it to smooth it out.
I tasted it afterward to see if I needed to adjust the flavoring, but it was actually just right. Since I didn't have any bagels around, I decided to test the cream cheese on some plain sourdough. Wonderful! It could only be better if it were on a perfectly toasted bagel.
I've provided a recipe below, but you should taste and alter the seasoning as suits your own preferences. That is the beauty of making your own flavored cream cheese at home, isn't it?
Honey Walnut Cream Cheese
- 4oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon honey
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Blend well with a fork. Firm back up in the refrigerator, then use as normal.