The sun was finally shining, the temperatures were fairly mild (for February) and we were all excited that Ryan had a three day weekend ahead of him (gotta love those bank holidays). Everything was set for the perfect Valentine's weekend of family fun.
And then I got the stomach bug that has been making its way through The Land of Fruit. It hit me about 4:30 Saturday morning and by noon of the same day, I thought I was going to die. Terrible stuff.
So, our weekend of family fun was not to be. Instead, I spent the weekend watching cheesy chick flicks while clutching a sleeve of saltine crackers and a glass of Sprite.
By Sunday evening, I did manage to find the time and energy to make Ryan's cheesecake-stuffed, chocolate covered strawberries. I even managed to eat a couple of them. So for those of you interested in the recipe, here it is:
Very large strawberries (the biggest you can find)
1/4 - 1/2 package of softened cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
Melting chocolate (I use dark, but you can use milk chocolate if you prefer)
First, wash and dry the strawberries. Make sure they are completely dry and at room temperature. They won't coat well if they are cool or damp.
While the strawberries are drying/warming, mix the cream cheese with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Taste. Add more sugar if you want it sweeter.
With a very sharp knife, cut the bottom tip of the strawberry in wedge like fashion. You'll be left with a little "plug" and a hollow strawberry. The bigger the strawberry, the larger the hollow area. If you'd like a larger hollow area, use the knife to scrape out some of the strawberry's pulpy inside.
I fill a medicinal syringe that I got with one of the kids' many prescriptions with the cream cheese mixture and then squirt it into the strawberry. Be sure to not overfill the strawberry with the cream cheese mixture because then the tip won't fit back in the strawberry.
Replace the tip and dip the strawberry in the chocolate of your choice. You may have to drizzle it over the strawberry using a spoon or even replace the tip if it starts to fall out.
The final product may look a little bumpy, but it tastes so good you won't care.
(What you see in front are the smaller strawberries that I let the kids dip in the leftover chocolate.)
I think the next time I make them (probably next Valentine's Day), I'm going to mix some graham cracker crumbs into the cream cheese mixture just to make it more "cheesecakey."