Cheesecake with a strawberry that acts as its own little serving dish? How perfect! These are a wonderful little treat that is a small portion for anyone watching what they eat, plus you don’t have to worry about cutting and serving or plates or silverware or anything like that.
I took these to work for a coworker’s birthday. Well, sort of. His birthday was at the end of January but he didn’t start working on my team until a few weeks into February. It was close enough to his birthday that I felt like I still needed to do something for him. I asked what he liked and he said cheesecake. Strawberry cheesecake. I knew immediately that I would make these little gems. I knew I had seen something on Pinterest, so I looked and of course, couldn’t find what I could have sworn I pinned. So I went to the next logical place: Google. So I googled and found these Lighter Strawberry Cheesecake Bites. My only issue with them: they use Truvia. I’m not a fan of anything other than plain ol’ granulated sugar. So, I went back to Pinterest and finally found these. However, they are made with powdered sugar. That seemed a little weird to me so I decided I was just going to wing it. I mean, I’ve made enough cheesecake in my life to know what the filling should taste like, plus, it’s three ingredients, how hard could it be to get the sugar right? And I was right. Added a 1/4 cup of sugar (figuring I could always go up but couldn’t go down since I didn’t have any extra cream cheese if I screwed this up) and it was just right! Anywho, here’s how you make the little guys:
- 2 lbs strawberries*
- 1 8oz package cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar (the plain ol’ granulated stuff)
- 1 tsp-ish Vanilla extract**
- 2 graham crackers
* I say 2 lbs of strawberries but it depends on how much your able to stuff in each strawberry and how big your strawberries are. I had mostly small to medium size strawberries with only a couple big ones and I filled 42 strawberries (all that I had) and had some of the filling leftover. (Oh no, whatever will I do with leftover cheesecake filling?! Definitely not squeeze it directly into my mouth. Yeah, definitely not.)
** I say 1 tsp-ish because I really don’t measure vanilla too much, I just kind of dumped some in and then tasted (oh darn!) to make sure it was enough.
1. Wash your strawberries. Cut off the tops of the strawberries and (if desired) a small slice off the bottom so that they stand up on their own a little better. 2. Hollow out the strawberries so that you can fill them. If you angle your knife into the strawberry, it should be pretty easy to cut out some nice little cones. Be careful not to cut them too thin or they will be too flimsy to hold the filling. Don’t cut all the way through the bottom as if you were hulling them, because you don’t want your cheesecake filling to seep out the bottom. 3. Mix up your cheesecake filling. Throw everything into a bowl and mix until combined and it starts to gets a little fluffy.
4. Add your cheesecake filling to a pastry bag or ziploc. I have the cheap off-brand bags and it popped after filling 3 strawberries. The filling is just too thick so I switched to a handy-dandy reusable pastry bag. If you had a freezer bag, something a little sturdier it would probably work fine. I used a #12 Wilton tip to fill the strawberries. 5. Crush the graham crackers in a plastic bag and here you have a few options.
First, you could place all of the graham crackers in a dish and dip each strawberry individually. I did not do this. My strawberries were nicely lined up in their containers and I didn’t want to move them. Plus I’m lazy.
Second you could just sprinkle the graham crackers over all of the strawberries and see what sticks. I kind of did this. I actually just cut off the tip of the bag I was using to crush the graham crackers and “piped” them onto the top of each strawberry. I made (slightly) less of a mess than just sprinkling the crumbs over the top of everything and it was WAY easier than dipping each strawberry individually.
Which ever way you do it, I would recommend putting the graham crackers on the strawberries just before serving, rather than the day/night before. The graham crackers will get soggy just sitting on the cheesecake overnight.
Ta-da! You’re done! See, wasn’t that easy?! These disappeared quicker than I ever could have imagined! By about 11am they were all gone! I probably could have made 4 lbs worth and they still would have all been gone so take that into account when making them. They are definitely a crowd pleaser!
I think it would be fun to experiment with different flavors of cheesecake too. Like chocolate. Because who wouldn’t love a CHOCOLATE Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberry?!