Cream cheese can make almost any recipe better, whether it be a dessert, appetizer, or full-blown entree. Sadly, it might be difficult to soften or melt cream cheese without leaving lumps behind.
Fortunately for you, this article will go through various techniques for melting cream cheese without lumps so you may use it in dishes like frosting or soften it up enough to spread on bagels easily.
Be sure to read all the way to the end for two wonderful cream cheese recipes.
Thawing Cream Cheese
In the case that your package of cream cheese has been stored in the freezer, you will obviously need to thaw it prior to melting it. Fortunately, this is a straightforward process.
You may either thaw your cream cheese by transferring it from the freezer to the fridge for around 24 hours, or you can use a microwave to do the job.
However, if you do end up taking the speedier route, make sure to check on the cream cheese every 10 seconds or so to avoid overheating or burning it. After the cream cheese has thawed, you may begin melting it and smoothing it out.
Methods for Melting Cream Cheese
There are many methods for softening and melting cream cheese. After taking a look at the techniques covered below, you can check out the section that follows to learn some tips for removing lumps from your cream cheese.
While this method will not entirely melt your block of cream cheese, it will soften it, enabling you to melt it more readily if desired. It should take around an hour for your cream cheese to soften up, and make sure you do not let it sit out at room temperature for more than a couple hours, or it might go bad.
Cutting up your block of cream cheese into tiny pieces might help speed up the softening process. This will allow the temperature of all the cheese to be increased more rapidly, leading to faster softening.
If you need your cream cheese warmed or softened rapidly, your best bet could be to utilize your microwave. Make sure you remove the cream cheese from its packaging and place it into a microwave-safe bowl prior to heating it up.
A complete block of cream cheese should melt in approximately 15 seconds in a microwave on high. It is best to shoot low on the duration you heat your cream cheese for, then add a few seconds on to the time if it has not reached the desired consistency.
Hot Water Method
The last strategy discussed in this article is one that includes the use of hot water. First, take the brick of cream cheese out of its cardboard box, but leave it wrapped in its foil cover.
Next, put either scalding hot water from your tap or water heated up in the microwave into a bowl. Remember, you should not use boiling water for this approach.
Place the brick of cream cheese into the bowl of water, and cover it up, then let it sit in there, making sure to rotate the cream cheese block every five minutes. It should be softened after around 15 minutes.
Removing Lumps Afterward
While thoroughly melting your cream cheese should assist to eliminate many of the lumps, your smooth cream cheese might turn lumpy when combined with other substances.
If your cream cheese isn’t as smooth as you’d want it to be, there are a few things you can do about it.
Blender or Food Processor
If you have a blender or food processor handy, you have the option of using one of them for blending up your cream cheese to make it smoother and to remove lumps. Just place the cream cheese in there and wait a few seconds for it to perform its magic.
After using this method to eliminate lumps, your cream cheese should be incredibly creamy and smooth.
If your cream cheese is melted, you can use a whisk to quickly stir it to remove lumpiness. Put the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and whisk it for as long as it takes to smooth it out.
This approach works much better if you microwaved or cooked your cream cheese to melt it.
You may make your cream cheese smooth and lump-free by using an electric mixer. Pop the cream cheese into a bowl, and mix it to smooth perfection quickly and effortlessly.
If your cream cheese has been mixed with other ingredients, thus becoming thinner, or if it is melted completely, you can try straining out lumps. To make the cream cheese particularly smooth, strain it through a mesh strainer.
Recipes with Cream Cheese
This section will provide you with two recipes that feature cream cheese so you can put it to good use after you soften or melt it. The first recipe is for delicious turtle cheesecake squares, while the second is for a melty crab dip.
Turtle Cheesecake Squares
After you taste these nutty and creamy delights, there is no way you will be able to make these just once. This recipe’s components are divided into three categories: crust, filling, and toppings.
For the crust component of the squares, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
You will need the following ingredients to make the cheesecake filling:
- 4 8-ounce bricks of cream cheese
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
The following components will be needed for the topping:
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup hot fudge
- 1/2 cup caramel syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the crust of the cheesecake squares, combine the crushed graham crackers and butter using a fork, then press the prepared crust onto a baking dish.
Next, soften and smooth up your cream cheese by using a mixer, then beat the sugar into the softened cream cheese, and after that is mixed in, add the vanilla extract and sour cream, combining it all into one mixture. Next, add each of your eggs one at a time, mixing on low until everything is incorporated together.
At this point, you can pour the mixture onto your prepared crust that is in your baking dish, then pop it into the oven for an hour to 70 minutes, or until it is golden-brown and barely jiggles in the middle. Let it to cool on the counter before putting it in the fridge for an hour or two, following which you can finally add the delicious toppings.
Melty Creamy Crab Dip
Who doesn’t like a tasty crab dip? For this delicious, savory, cheesy dip, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 8-ounce brick of cream cheese
- 2 6-ounce cans crab meat
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, combine your softened cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until they create a smooth mixture that is free of lumps.
The next step is to add the onion, parsley, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, seasoned salt, crab meat, and cheddar cheese to the cream cheese, and combine everything together. Once the oven has completed preheating, transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
Bake the dip in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling nicely. You can remove it from the oven, and dig into it while it’s still hot with whatever chips, crackers, or bread you wish to use.