Anyone who has ever attended law school understands that it has questionable effects on your behavior. Within mere days of attending your first class, you start using the word "consideration" in new and interesting ways that only your classmates and lawyers would understand, you say the word "outlining" with alarming frequency, you start questioning whether you should put one or two spaces between a period and the beginning of the next sentence, and you begin to contemplate matters such as whether or not the oxford comma is necessary (Definitely necessary!). You might promise yourself that you won't let law school make you a complete and total loser, but you just can't help yourself. It takes you in as you are and turns you out as someone who contemplates the subtleties of punctuation. It might also leave you terrified of being addressed as Ms. or Mr. so and so, but that is a story for another day.
You see, I was very fortunate. While I sat in my journal's office contemplating whether or not there were two spaces after each sentence and then debating whether or not this should be the rule our journal followed with my fellow classmates (weren't we an exciting bunch?), I at least got to eat delicious food. Being in Austin, TX, we got breakfast tacos from tacodeli on Tuesdays. But then, following a pattern perhaps better suited to New York City or Montreal, Wednesday was bagel day. Personally, I never got that excited about the bagels. They were fine, but being the carb-obsessed person that I am, I always have bagels in my freezer anyway. However, the pumpkin cream cheese that we got with the bagels during this time of year always ensured that I would stop in early on Wednesday mornings before my first class, even if I wasn't scheduled to edit. That cream cheese had a strong hold on me. Really though, how could it not? It was like having pumpkin cheesecake on a bagel. It was spiced, slightly sweet, and everything you could want in a fall breakfast on the run. I would pair that with a coffee and I was all set.
On a crisp fall morning last week, I found myself at home with bagels and plain cream cheese when I found myself thinking about that pumpkin cream cheese I used to eat in law school. Desperate to recreate the experience and not wanting to venture out to a bagel shop, I whipped up my own version with ingredients I had around the house and I must say that this recipe is a winner. I think I might even prefer it to the ones you find in those shops. It tastes fresh and the pumpkin flavor comes right through. And, best of all, it takes no more than a few moments to prepare.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese
Yield: 12 Tbsp (6 servings)
4 oz light cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Place softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Add in the puree, syrup, and sugar. With the mixer set on low, cream the ingredients until they are well combined and fluffy. Sprinkle with spices and beat the mixture again until they are evenly distributed.
- Taste the mixture. The great thing about this recipe is that it is easily adaptable to your personal tastes. If it isn't sweet enough for you, add more sugar. Want more spice? Step it up with the pumpkin pie mix.