Whenever I have about 1/2 a cup of cream cheese/neufchatel left, I don’t quite know what to do with it. I might buy a bagel or two, or I might use it in a sauce in a skillet that I will mix up. Recently though, I saw an adorable other option, that of Soft Baked Mini Cream Cheese puffs by Averie Cooks. They are extremely easy, and don’t require eggs, just butter, cream cheese, flour, baking powder, salt and milk! Mine don’t look as pretty as hers, but they were tasty and so easy for a lazy Sunday!
They are very light and fluffy. My little muffin pan makes 12, and with this recipe I got 30 little cream cheese puffs! They don’t taste cheesy, just like little buttery soft puffs. I only have one mini muffin pan, so I had to reuse them so it took a little longer, but if you had 2 pans you would be out and eating these in just 15 minutes!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (reduced fat or light cream cheese or Neufchatel)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- about 3/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, flour, baking powder, and salt. She also notes that this puff recipe makes a great base, so you could throw in additional flavorings varying from cinnamon and nutmeg to pumpkin pie spice, or you can go savory with garlic, chili, caramelized onions, etc. Or leave it plain and just pop them into your mouth warm from the oven, or eat with jam! Anyway, beat the contents of your mixing bowl with an electric mixer to combine, about 2 minutes on medium high speed. Mixture will be very crumbly, with pebbles and sandy bits.
- Slowly drizzle in up to 3/4 cup milk; just enough so that batter will combine and come together. The batter should be very thick and paste-like. If the batter is for any reason too thick to stir, add a little bit more milk, as necessary to thin it.
- Using a greased tablespoon or small cookie scoop (helps batter slide off), form rounded 1 tablespoon mounds in your mini muffin pan. Each mini muffin well should not be full, and don’t worry about filling them exactly uniformly. As these puffs bake, batter that was placed in the pan in a very rounded fashion like a perfect scoop of ice cream will bake up more domed and puffed. They rise very well; be careful not to overfill.
- Bake for about 11 to 12 minutes, or until puffs are springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful of the time as they easily over-bake (which happened to my second pan) because the bases will turn darker but you won’t see this until you release them from the pans.
- Allow puffs to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, or until they’ve firmed up and are cool enough to handle.
Puffs are best fresh of course, but Averie noted they should keep airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Serve plain for simple buttery goodness, or with jam/jelly, honey, chutney, dips, soup, chili, etc.!