I was searching for a fun, creative, simple contribution for a 4th of July potluck when I remembered an evening spent with my friend Holly. I had just bought an entire flat of strawberries at the farmer’s market and hard as it is to believe, even wonderful fresh and perfectly ripe California strawberries can be a bit much after a while. I wanted to do something more exciting than freezing them for smoothies or slicing them into salads, and my friend Holly shared the notion of cheesecake-stuffed strawberries. I was instantly hooked.
That evening, we made each strawberry as we went – pausing to admire them for only a brief moment before consuming it and starting to assemble the next tasty bite. I recommend prepping them as close to serving time as possible to keep the graham cracker crumbs crunchy, although they are still delicious after sitting for a while.
While the 4th is long gone, give these delectable morsels a try before this year’s strawberry season moves on.
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 graham crackers
2 pints strawberries
In a small food processor, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside.
Carefully remove the hull and interior pith (see this link for a brush-up on strawberry anatomy) from each berry and set aside.
Place the graham crackers on a medium to large plate. Using your fingers, crumble the crackers until they reach the consistency shown below.
Scrape the cream cheese frosting mixture into a small Ziploc or other re-sealable plastic bag. Cut off one of the bottom corners, creating a make-shift pastry piping bag (of course, if you have an actual pastry piping bag, you can use that instead). Be careful to only remove the very tip, as cutting too large of a hole will make piping the frosting unwieldy. Ensure the bag is completely sealed.
Just before serving, assemble the completed strawberry bites. One strawberry at a time, fill the inner cavity with the cream cheese frosting, then gently roll the top of the strawberry in the graham cracker crumbs. Enjoy!