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Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, Tuesday… whatever you call it you will be hard pressed to avoid the hype and craziness today. It’s a great time to make some easy, homemade treats for yourself or those special people in your life.

I’m a huge fan of strawberries and they are a V-Day staple. Here are a couple easy treats I put together. 

1. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries: This may be a new favorite of mine… quick, easy, and can be made ahead of time.

16 oz. softened cream cheese
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
~ 1 tablespoon vanilla
a splash or so Grand Mariner (optional)
2 lbs strawberries
crushed graham crackers or crisp cookies
Rinse strawberries, trim tops, scoop out the middle, and slice the bottoms off (to make flat so they will stand… i did this after I filled mine, when I was plating). Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and liquor with a hand mixer until well combined and a little fluffy. Put mixture in a pastry bag or zipper bag (with corner trimmed off) and pipe into berries. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs… see, I told you it was easy.

2. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries – ok these are really easy too.

Strawberries – rinsed and dried
Chocolate – I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocao and Ghirardelli 60% Cocao (baking bars or baking chips)
Grand Mariner (optional)
So one way I like to add a little extra umph to my dipped berries is to inject them with Grand Mariner. You can use a kitchen injector (found in most grocery stores). Poke the strawberry and slowly inject a teaspoon or two to each berry. Add slowly so it doesn’t run out. Also, I try insert the injector near the top, under the stem. Adjust the amount based on size and ripeness of the berry.
Melt the chocolate in a heat safe bowl resting on a pot of water simmering low to medium. Stir the chocolate as it melts. When smooth and fully melted remove from heat and drip the strawberry. Use the stem to hold the berry and twist in chocolate it to coat as much berry as possible. Let berries cool completely on parchment or wax paper. You can add decorations/sprinkles/etc to the berries while the chocolate is still soft of you can drizzle with white chocolate for added flair. 

I made both of these yesterday afternoon so today all I had to do was plate them for delivery.