A few days ago, Ross directed my attention to another sweet recipe he wanted me to try. I perused the recipe and was amused to see that the filling was the same one I used (sans the juice and zest) for the cranberry phyllo baskets I had made a few weeks back. So really, these are cream cheese stuffed, not cheesecake. But they are so heavenly on a summer day I doubt anyone will care what you call them...
adapted from Nutmeg Nanny's recipe
makes about 2 -3 dozen depending on the size of your berries
1 lb large strawberries
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3-4 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or lemon juice)
Graham cracker crumbs
Rinse strawberries and cut around the top. Remove the hull and clean out inside with a paring knife if necessary. If you want to stand your strawberries upright slice a bit off the bottom. Once strawberries are prepped set aside.
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla with a mixer or by hand. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a piping bag and fill strawberries. Once strawberries are filled dip the top in graham cracker crumbs.
As per Nutmeg Nanny's suggestion, I dipped the bottom tip of the strawberry in chocolate. I had wanted to use white chocolate, but for whatever reason, as soon as the chocolate reached that smooth melted stage it immediately disintegrated in to a grainy mixture before I could dip a single berry. Milk chocolate to the rescue...
If you wish to dip the berries, I recommend doing this after preparing the strawberries, but before filling them. After dipping, set the strawberries upright on parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes prior to filling.
What seemed like a large quantity of dessert disappeared in mere minutes among four people. You can imagine the guilt felt by all parties for devouring the gems with out reservation...
But it's mostly fruit, right?