Amaretto Cream-Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, brought to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (1 ounce)
  • 8 large fresh strawberries, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream, or more as needed to thin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Choice of topping: pecan pieces (toasted and finely ground); miniature white chocolate chips; toffee bits; flaked coconut (lightly toasted)
Slice off stem end of strawberry to create a flat surface. Using a small, sharp paring knife, cut a circle around the white hull; remove and discard inside flesh. Leave at least a 1/4-inch shell or the strawberry will fall apart. Place hollowed out strawberries back in refrigerator while mixing stuffing.

In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar and amaretto until completely combined. (Note: You may also mix by hand with a rubber spatula in a medium mixing bowl.) Transfer stuffing mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe an even amount in each strawberry, then use a small, metal offset spatula to smooth and level off the stuffing. Place stuffed strawberries back in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow cream cheese to become firm.

Place chocolate, cream, and butter in the top portion of a double boiler. Fill lower portion 1/4 full with hot water; place it over the heat and bring to a boil. As soon as water boils, remove the pot from the heat; place the upper portion containing the chocolate on top of the hot water. Stir occasionally while the chocolate melts. (Note: Do not place the pot over the heat while it contains chocolate.)

Cool the chocolate mixture to 100°F. Holding each strawberry by the tip, dip the stuffed end into the chocolate mixture in one fluid motion. Dunk it at a slight angle, turning your wrist clockwise; if you hesitate, the cream cheese will ooze out into the chocolate. Coat the dipped strawberry with your choice of topping, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the strawberries are stuffed, dipped, and topped.

Allow the chocolate to cool, then place the strawberries in the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Serves 4