July 2, 2009

Stuffed Strawberries with Toasted Almonds {Powernap}

When my daughter was born I needed almost as much coddling as she did. Becoming a mother was wonderful, but I was overwhelmed by my new role. Thankfully, my family and friends swooped in to help, patiently answering my questions, tidying my home, and – perhaps most importantly – bringing me delicious homemade food. You see, during those tender first weeks I was simply too tired to cook. I hadn’t yet figured out how to be a Naptime Chef, and was exhausted by my new around-the-clock schedule. Instead, I was nourished, both emotionally and physically, by the near constant stream of goodies brought to my kitchen.


Last month my friend Priscilla had her first baby, a perfect little girl named Grace. Recalling my own experience, I Naptime Chef-ed Priscilla a sweet treat before I went to meet her new family. I knew it would be more than welcome. Deciding what to make for her was not hard. While I was browsing at the market I came across a few quarts of fresh strawberries and picked them up without a second thought. A cheery fruit dessert seemed like the perfect thing to give a new mom.


For this special visit I chose to fill the strawberries with a light cream cheese frosting, and top them with toasted sliced almonds. I love this preparation because each berry tastes like an individual strawberry cheesecake. At times I have taken it a step further and dipped the strawberries in dark chocolate. But, on this occasion, I opted not to. The berries I purchased were perfectly fresh from the field, I didn’t want to cover up their sun-ripened flavor.

I make this recipe often during the summer because it is perfect for Naptime Chef-ing. The assembly is a snap, taking less than 30 minutes to complete. Every time I serve these to friends or family they always receives rave reviews. I know Priscilla loved them, she emailed me to say she had polished them off in less than two days! I will be bringing her another batch this summer. We have already agreed that, when Grace’s nap schedule improves, I am going to Priscilla’ s home to teach her how to become a Naptime Chef, too.

Recipe

Naptime’s Stuffed Strawberries with Toasted Almonds

adapted from an old recipe from my mother-in-law, source unknown

Ingredients

20-25 fresh strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese
3 T. confectioners sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
½ c. sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions

1. Wash and dry fresh strawberries. Carefully trim the bottom of each berry so that it will stand up on a plate. With a melon baller, scoop off the top and stem. The berry will be hallow inside.
2. In a mixer, whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add confections sugar, vanilla and pinch of cinnamon. Beat until fully combined.
3. Fill a medium size Ziploc bag with the cream cheese mixture. Cut off a corner of the bag to make it function like a pastry bag.
4. Gently squeeze the cream cheese through the open corner of the bag and carefully fill each strawberry with a generous amount of cream cheese. Top each berry with 2 or 3 toasted sliced almonds. Serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Feel free to play around with this recipe. You could add chocolate to the cream cheese to make a chocolate filling, or dip the stuffed berries in chocolate. They are excellent to serve for dessert at a party, or add to any buffet table.

Naptime Stopwatch

Preparing this dessert takes about 20 minutes. There is simply no way you can go wrong. It will easily yield two dozen filled strawberries, perfect for feeding a crowd or for family snacking.

Naptime Reviews

This is a great summer dessert or snack that everyone adores. My daughter likes to eat the cream cheese filling with her fingers first, then eats the strawberry separately.

  • foodmuses

    For the 4th, I'm going to add one blueberry in each strawberry. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • foodmuses

    For the 4th, I'm going to add one blueberry in each strawberry. Thanks for the inspiration!