From the kitchen of Kathy Allen
1 qt. fresh strawberries, about 20 nice berries
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, or to taste (up to a ½ cup)
½ tsp. vanilla or almond extract. Or a little orange flavored liqueur.
Chopped pecans or graham cracker crumbs
Wash, dry and stem the berries.
Now, you have a choice:
You can use a peeler/corer to gently make a little well in the stem end of the berry. Or, you can slice a thin slice off the stem end so the berries will stand upright- and make a cut from the tip of the strawberry down toward the bottom, 3/4 of the way down, and then cross that with another cut, and carefully spread out the ‘petals’ to open it just enough to give the piping tip enough room to squeeze in.
Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flavoring. Use your hand mixer and get it nice and smooth. Use a piping bag, or just fill a zip lock bag and snip off one corner. (start small, you can always make the hole bigger!) If you have the “couplers” for your decorating tips, they work as well with a baggie as they do with your piping bags.
Fill the hole you made in the strawberry or put the piping tip right down in the center of criss-cross cut and fill each berry with cream cheese mixture.
Sprinkle with or roll cream filled end in chopped pecans or graham cracker crumbs. Chill.
You can be really decadent and dip the stuffed berries in chocolate. Buy dipping chocolate or make your own by melting a 16 oz. bag of semisweet or milk chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of shortening. Cool slightly, use a toothpick or fork to dip and put on wax paper to set.