Thursday, February 11, 2010


There are many variations of cream cheese frosting.  Some recipes use only cream cheese with no butter, others use varying amounts of each.  This recipe uses equal amounts of each.  Fresh butter imparts a buttery creaminess to the frosting, while the cream cheese adds a slight tang.  Together, they make a wonderful frosting that cooks everywhere have used for many, many years.  Using vanilla beans adds immensely to the flavor.  If you don’t have vanilla beans, then use vanilla extract; but use the best you can afford, because vanilla flavorings are not all the same.  The quality of vanilla shows up in the frosting, and you will taste the difference.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Source:  Judy’s Kitchen
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 (8-oz.) pkg. Neufchatel cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1-1/2 tsp. good-quality vanilla extract or vanilla paste)
Big pinch sea salt
1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream, sour cream or milk, if needed

Beat butter and sugar on high speed of electric mixer, in medium-large bowl, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, beating on medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds each addition.  Beat in the scraped vanilla bean seeds and salt.  Add only enough liquid to bring the frosting to spreadable consistency.  Refrigerate till ready to use. 

Will frost 2 dozen cupcakes or one double-layer cake.  Freeze any leftover frosting for another use, or refrigerate up to one week.

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