Saturday, September 11, 2010

Honey Walnut Bagel Spread

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a major weakness for cream cheese spreads. Specifically Panera's honey walnut cream cheese spread. This can be a pretty expensive (and fattening) weakness. I've been playing around with different ingredient combinations and have finally succeeded in concocting the BEST homemade version of honey walnut cream cheese. This batch will last about a week (depending on how much you use at a time), it's probably healthier than the Panera version, and it is cheaper overall. Plus, many of the necessary ingredients are staples in most pantries. I hope you enjoy! And feel free to alter the ingredients to fit your personal tastes.

Reduced Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Spread
8oz Reduced fat (or fat free) cream cheese
2 tsp Vanilla
3 tbsp Honey
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Toasted Walnuts
Dash of Cinnamon (optional)
Dash of Nutmeg (optional)

There are numerous methods for toasting walnuts, such as baking, microwaving, and stove-top. I typically use the stove-top method because it is quick and easy.

Heat walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until they're golden brown and they give off a rich, toasty fragrance. Watch them closely when using this method as it's easy to burn them.

Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, honey and vanilla. After the mixture is smooth and well incorporated, stir in the brown sugar. Once the walnuts have cooled, add them to the mixture.

I love to use this mixture with double fiber english muffins!

Inspired by: Panera's Honey Walnut Cream Cheese


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That looks really tasty!
- Kathy