Happy New Year, everyone! My 2008 was filled with endings and new beginnings, with a lot of fun inbetween. I’m really looking forward to the new year and all the new adventures it will bring.
I normally don’t do much for New Year’s eve. My boyfriend and I usually just hang out at his house with a bottle of wine or some fuzzy navels and watch the ball drop on TV. This year, Matt’s brother Mike and his fiance Stephanie are having a New Year’s coctail party at their apartment in Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids is also doing their own ball drop this year, which I hear is supposed to be awesome, so we’re meeting at Mike and Stephanie’s apartment (which is nicely located right in the middle of downtown) for a few drinks and snacks, and then we’re all going out to Rosa Park’s Circle to watch the ball drop. I’m really excited!
Since Mike and Stephanie are letting Matt and I stay the night so we don’t have to drive back to Lansing late at night with all the crazy drunks on the road, I volunteered to bring some small desserts to the party. I saw this recipe quite a while ago, and have been dying to make it ever since. I love chocolate covered strawberries, and the addition of cheesecake filling to their hollowed-out centers makes them about a million times better. This is such a simple, easy and impressive dessert – I will definitely be making it again!
I found that using a wine glass to hold the melted chocolate in worked the best – it was narrow enough for there to be a deep pool of chocolate, so all you need to do is dip the strawberries straight down into the glass. If you use a shallow bowl to hold the chocolate, you’ll end up needing to roll the strawberries in the chocolate instead of dipping them, and it’s really hard to do when you don’t have the leaves on top to hold on to. Also, make sure to keep these refrigerated until you’re ready to serve them, so that the cheesecake filling doesn’t go bad, and the chocolate stays nice and firm. If you don’t have any piping bags handy, you can use a regular ziplock bag. Fill the bag with the cheesecake filling, and then cut a small hole in one of the corners of the bag. If you’re going to use a ziplock bag though, make sure that the cheesecake filling is at room temperature before you start piping. When chilled, the filling is very thick, and my ziplock bag burst from the pressure before I had even finished filling my first strawberry!
Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Source: Tami’s Kitchen Table Talk
Makes: about 40
2 pints strawberries
1 container Philadelphia Pre-Made Cheesecake Filling
1 package chocolate flavored candy coating
1 package vanilla flavored candy coating
1) Wash and pat dry strawberries.
2) Pull the leaves off the top of each strawberry, then using a small paring knife carefully cut out the core of each berry.
3) Once the cheesecake filling has reached room temeperature, place in a piping bag or ziplock bag. Fill each strawberry with the cheesecake filling, making sure that the filling sticks out a little bit.
4) Melt the chocolate flavored candy coating in a microwave safe bowl. Transfer melted chocolate to a wine glass, and dip half of the strawberries. Once dipped, place the strawberries on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
5) Repeat step 4 with the vanilla flavored candy coating and the remaining strawberries.
6) If desired, transfer the leftover melted chocolate into two piping or ziplock bags, cut a very small hole at the tip of each bag, and add a decorative drizzle to each berry.