Unless you’re dating a succubus or a Hilton, your lady will probably appreciate any effort you expend to make her Valentine’s Day special. But for your V-Day to be a success in your eyes, you naturally want it to end … well. To up your odds at a strong finish, unveil this guy recipe at the end of the night — a homemade dessert of cheesecake-stuffed strawberries. She’ll love that they taste amazing and are low in sugar, calories, and fat. You’ll love that they only take about 20 minutes to prepare, and require ingredients that cost less than $20.
They’re not difficult to make, but a couple steps can trip you up. When cutting the “X” in the tops of the strawberries, use more finesse and less elbow grease so you don’t cut all the way through. We picked up an extra package of strawberries in case we messed up. Sadly, we needed them. (“Hulk cook!”)
Also, apply the graham cracker crumbs right before serving. You’re going to refrigerate the berries when they’re done, but the longer the graham cracker crumbs sit on the cream cheese, the soggier it’ll look.
Prep time: 20 minutes
• 12 strawberries
• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
• 4 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese
• 2-3 teaspoons of zero-calorie sweetener
• 1 low-fat graham cracker
How to make it
1. Cut off the tops of the strawberries.
2. With a sharp knife, cut an “X” into the top of the strawberry (be careful not to cut all the way through).
3. Mix the cream cheese, sweetener, and vanilla in a small bowl.
4. Use the end of a small pairing knife (i.e., a knife that isn’t very sharp) to stuff the cream cheese mix into the X you’ve cut in the strawberries. Don’t worry, it sounds harder than it is.
5. Crush the graham cracker into crumbs and gently roll the top of strawberry over the crumbs.
Photography by Erica Schultz