Monday, December 21, 2009

New York Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

As the holidays approach many of us are searching for new recipes as well as presents. With all the parties that are thrown every year, we have a lot of baking to do and it can get pretty tiresome making the same treat 5 times in one week - at least that's how it is for me. I have to have variety when I bake - especially when I find myself in the kitchen so many times throughout the holidays.

Well, yesterday my husband and I attended our Sunday School party and every couple was supposed to bring something. So, naturally with the hustle and bustle of the holidays - I forgot. Until Saturday night. When I was out shopping. So, I picked up a magazine and found a recipe for strawberries stuffed with cheesecake AND dipped in chocolate! Could it get any better? I didn't think so, until I glanced at the recipe and saw how easy they were going to be to make. Of course, I enlisted the help of my husband...after all, he was going to be eating them too.

If you are looking for an easy and yummy treat to bring somewhere this holiday season then you simply HAVE to give these strawberries a try! The recipe is below.

15-30 Fresh Medium Strawberries, washed and dried
1 8-oz. pkg. of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 bar of milk chocolate, chopped (dark chocolate works too)

1. Cut off the stem of each strawberry. Use a knife to dip out the center of each strawberry - creating a small cavity.
2. In a bowl, use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together. Mix until smooth - then place the mixture in a pastry bag - or, if you're like me, put it in a ziploc bag and cut off the tip of one of the corners to squeeze it out of. Then, take each strawberry and fill the center with cream cheese mixture. You will want to mound it on top a little bit to make it pretty. Then place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler until it's smooth. Then dip the bottom of each strawberry in the chocolate. Return strawberry to wax paper and top with graham cracker crumbs.
4. Refrigerate strawberries to set chocolate. Serve.

These strawberries were amazing. The recipe says you should serve them within 6 hours of preparing them, but I made them the night before our Sunday School party and served them the next morning. It was probably at least 14 hours later and they were just fine. The key is to make sure the strawberries you use are fresh and don't have any soft spots. Enjoy!!

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