Friday, August 13, 2010

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries


These little desserts are perfect for showers and parties- they look gorgeous and taste fabulous! They are also less time consuming than making chocolate-dipped berries, and I love the cheesecake filling. I made these for my boss’ baby shower and they went over very well- and with less than 30 minutes from start to finish, the prep work was a cinch for something that looks so elegant and tastes even better. I made homemade cheesecake filling, but I’ve heard others using Jello’s No Bake Cheesecake or Philadelphia Cream Cheese Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake filling with success. I would definitely recommend making this the day of- I made them the night before, and the strawberries “shrank” having been in the cold temps of the fridge overnight.

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries
Ingredients:
Cheesecake filling (recipe below)*
24 large, firm strawberries
Ziploc bags
“Dippers”- Chopped nuts (almond, pistachio, pecan, walnuts), Mini chocolate chips, Graham cracker crumbs, sprinkles
Melted chocolate (optional)- Semi-sweet, almond bark or candy melts**

Cheesecake filling
12-oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
¼-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Combine and whip together the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. (Skip this step if you’re using pre-made mix.)
2. Wash your strawberries and cut off the tops. Using a sharp paring knife, hollow out the inside of the strawberry without puncturing the bottom. I use the "white" insides as a measure and try to use that as my diameter to hollow out:

3. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) with the cheesecake filling, and gently fill each strawberry until the filling is slightly overstuffed.
4. Dip the cheesecake end of the strawberry into your favorite “dipper”, completely covering the cheesecake.
5. Heat your chocolate slowly and carefully, until the chocolate is melted thoroughly. (If you plan to drizzle the berries with chocolate, make sure the berries are spaced out enough- not too close to each other- so you have enough room to fully drizzle the entire berry. If they’re too close, the chocolate drizzle doesn’t get to the sides of the berry, resulting in a chocolate drizzle on the tops of the berry only, and not the sides.)
6. Spoon the melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag, cut off a VERY small tip, and squeeze the chocolate over the strawberries.

* Can use Jello’s No Bake Cheesecake or Phildelphia Cream Cheese Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake filling
** If you want to use white chocolate, I would highly recommend using Wilton’s candy melts or almond bark. Melting and working with white chocolate was a struggle! If you use chocolate, adding a little shortening helped make it a smooth consistency.

Source: Adapted from The Novice Chef

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