Summer and strawberries – it’s perfection really. Whether eating straight out of the pint, chopping in salads, adding to birthday cakes, or blending in smoothies, we really can’t get enough around my house. So any excuse to eat more strawberries is welcome.
And then when you pack them with cream cheese and chocolate? Well, you’ll likely cry uncle or mercy at some point.
These Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries were the first little glimmer of the budding foodie in me. I stood in the break room of my first ad agency job out of college and chatted with my boss about desserts; what specifically I can’t recall. But mashing up a piece of cheesecake, crust and all, and putting it inside strawberries was the result. That much I do remember.
I eat a lot better now than I used to, making these little cheesecake-inspired bites a perfect intersection of the way it was and the way it is – delicious, simple, fresh, healthful. Besides, who can argue with 700 calories in a slice of Cheesecake Factory’s strawberry cheesecake and 155 calories in two fully stuffed cheesecake strawberries? (The chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake has 1100 calories!)
I used a huller to pluck the centers out of the plump strawberries, but frankly, however you can safely remove the stem and the strawberry centers will work. Once rinsed you can set those aside.
I used neufchâtel cream cheese – which has only 33% of the fat of standard cream cheese and yet tastes exactly the same. Honey and vanilla are added to sweeten and warm up the flavor. Things start getting really interesting when we pour in a few mini chocolate chips.
Feel free to lick the beaters!
You’ll scoop just a little of the cream cheese mixture in to each strawberry. It’s totally fine to pack it smooth or let it overflow a little bit.
Since no cheesecake is complete without a graham cracker crust, we finish these little strawberry treats with a dunk in rich, melted dark chocolate and then dust the tops with crushed graham crackers (we like Erewhon brand).
Straight up … To. Die. For.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
18 servings – 2 strawberries each
12 graham cracker squares
6 oz. dark chocolate (at least 60%)
1 brick neufchatel cream cheese
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1. Run the graham crackers through the food processor until finely ground.
2. Melt the dark chocolate – we used a double boiler.
3. Mix the cream cheese, chocolate chips, honey, and vanilla with a hand mixer until well combined.
4. Use a huller to scoop out the centers of the strawberries. Then, use a small spoon to scoop the cream cheese filling in to the centers.
5. Next, dip the strawberries in melted chocolate, just enough to cover the tops, and immediately dip in the graham cracker crumbs.
6. Refrigerate to harden the chocolate and serve chilled.
My daughter could hardly wait to get her tiny hands on these little devils. Can you blame her? We packed up a few and shared with her little friend during a backyard playdate and they were wholly consumed.
These Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries are a great addition to a shower or other party where you want to show off a bit without really putting out too much effort!
Also Try These Treat Ideas by DietsInReview.com
Recipe by Brandi Koskie; Photos by Kacy Meinecke
June 24th, 2013