|Strawberry Cheesecake Bites|
After a recent spate of fabulous, sunshiny weather, it seems to be full-on strawberry season. No kidding. On just about every street corner, in parking lots–even next to the gas station–there’s an old pickup truck, tailgate down and flats upon flats of strawberries.
California is prime strawberry growing territory and where I live, the biggest cash crop of the agricultural area. In case you’re wondering, the second biggest cash crop here: grapes and wine. I know; quite fitting, isn’t it?
Anyhow, yesterday I came across these ginormous strawberries. Usually, when berries are extraordinarily large, the insides are white and they aren’t very sweet, but after I sampled one of these babies, I was in sweet strawberry heaven and quickly forked over my money to Mr. Strawberry Seller.
I’m usually a purist when it comes to good berries, but these were far too large to slice up and serve naked. They demanded attention. They demanded to be seen. They demanded to be stuffed with cream cheese and dipped in bittersweet chocolate. Okay. That was probably my idea, but really, these rock. Make them; put them in your refrigerator and every time you open it up, pop one in your mouth.
Strawberry Cheesecake Poppers
12 extra large strawberries, cored and gently washed
3 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces soft goat cheese
2 teaspoons organic sour cream
1 tablespoon of baker’s sugar (this is just very fine sugar), or more, to taste
2 teaspoons good vanilla
2 tablespoons finely ground graham crackers
3 squares of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1. Make sure that strawberries are thoroughly dry by patting them down with a paper towel and setting them stem down on a wire rack.
2. Mix together the cream cheese and goat cheese until well blended. Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir well. Add the sugar and the graham cracker crumbs.
3. Using a small scoop, or teaspoon, gently fill the inside cavity of each strawberry with some of the filling.
4. Place the strawberries on a waxed paper lined plate and stash in the freezer for 10 minutes.
5. Place the bittersweet chocolate pieces in a bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir. Return to the microwave for another 60 seconds. Stir. If chocolate is not fully melted, continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until melted; stir until smooth.
6. Dip each strawberry bottom into the melted chocolate and then into the graham cracker crumbs.
7. Set strawberries on the waxed paper lined plate and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until set.
8. Once the strawberries are set, store in a zip bag.