I have a confession that you might find completely ludicrous. Are you ready? Here it is…I’m not really a chocolate lover. There, I said it and you are still reading. Sure I like chocolate occasionally, but I do not crave it and it would definitely not be my first choice on a dessert menu. Given the choice of cheesecake, fruit crisp or chocolate cake, I almost always choose the fruit crisp. My second choice would be cheesecake. This recipe for maple cheesecake stuffed strawberries combines my love of fruit and cheesecake and is absolute perfection. Not only is it so quick to make, but no matter who I serve this to, adults and children love them. This has become my go-to treat when I’m invited to a gathering and if you make them once, they will become yours too.
We started making this recipe in our kids cooking classes last year and over time, the recipe has evolved. Where we once used powdered sugar, we now use maple syrup, giving it a more pure taste. This recipe is ideal in summer when strawberries are in season, but if you can get good strawberries at the grocery store in the winter, give it a try.
Start with a pound of fresh strawberries. Using a paring knife, cut off a small part of the bottom of the strawberry so that it sits flat and then cut off the top. Scoop out a small hole in the top of each strawberry. It might feel awkward when you do the first one, but you will quickly get the hang of it.
Next make the filling by combining softened cream cheese, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. I use reduced fat cream cheese and milk which work great. You can use a food processor, hand mixer or stand mixer for this.
Using a pastry bag or small plastic bag with a tip cut off, squeeze some of the cream cheese mixture into each strawberry. This is a very fun recipe to make with kids as they love this step.
To finish off the strawberries, sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top or shaved chocolate. No matter how many I bring to a party, they are always gone within minutes so my word to the wise, make a lot! These are a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day or any day of the year!
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup shaved chocolate
- With a paring knife, cut off the strawberry stems. Cut around the inside of the strawberry, hollowing out slightly and creating a well for the cheesecake. (You can also do this with a small melon baller). Cut off a small portion of the pointy strawberry tip, so that each strawberry can stand. Place each on a large baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, with a standing or handheld electric mixer, beat cream cheese, syrup, milk, and vanilla until fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Place mixture in a pastry bag and pipe into each strawberry, adding a little extra to the top. You can also use a small sealable bag with a small tip cut off of a corner.
- Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs and shaved chocolate on top of each stuffed strawberry.