Summer unofficially kicks off with Memorial Day and ends with Labor Day, with Independence Day in the middle! Strawberry Salutes are the perfect way to show your patriotic spirit. This easy red, white, and blue, no-bake dessert is a light, fruity sweet bite that exemplifies summertime.
Beautiful sweet strawberries are stuffed with a sweetened vanilla cream cheese filling and topped with a blueberry. The very first thing that needs to be done is to bring the cream cheese to room temperature. It needs to be softened to mix with powdered sugar. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it will take around 20-30 minutes. You can speed things up by cutting the cream cheese in cubes (the more surface area, the quicker it warms up)
The simple prep work includes a thorough rinse of the berries and pat dry with paper towels. The blueberries can then be set aside for a few minutes.
With a sharp knife, cut off the green stem on the strawberries, creating a flat surface so the berries can sit upright. Slice a deep “X” on the top of the strawberry using care not to cut all the way through. The goal is to create an opening in which the cream cheese filling will be piped.
When the cream cheese is softened, place it in a small bowl with powdered sugar and vanilla. Using an electric (or hand) mixer, beat until the mixture is creamy. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with a star tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag or don’t want to mess with it (like me), just use a quart-size ziplock bag.
Using a small glass as a holder, place the bag inside, wrapping the edges outside the glass. Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the bag and remove it from the glass.
Work the mixture to one of the lower corners. Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. I use a closure tie to keep the filling at the bottom of the bag. Snip off the end of the bag to make a small hole. Ta-da! You now have a pastry bag. Sure it will look fancier if you use a star tip, but I’m just as happy without it.
With your fingers, gently open the “X” and squeeze in just enough filling to plumb up the berry but not so much that it oozes out of the sides. Top the strawberries with a clean, dry blueberry.
Refrigerate the strawberries until serving. Fresh mint leaves add a pretty garnish and the mint flavor also enhances the flavors of the strawberry. If you want to zhoosh up the recipe, change out the vanilla extract for almond extract.
This dessert is a great project for young chefs. It makes for a fun morning afternoon project before the holiday festivities begin. It’s also a perfect homemade recipe for non-bakers who are asked to bring a dessert to a holiday cookout or picnic. Enjoy the long weekend!!
Strawberry SalutesCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Strawberry Salutes is a red, white, and blue no-cook dessert that can be made in just 15 minutes. Vanilla flavored cream cheese is stuffed in a strawberry and topped with a blueberry for a juicy fruity treat that’s perfect for celebrating patriotic holidays and tributes. Great recipe for non-bakers!
18-20 large fresh strawberries (1 pound)
1/2 (4oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
18-20 fresh blueberries (aprox ¼ cup)
Optional: Fresh mint for garnish
- Prep: Wash and pat dry the strawberries and blueberries. Set blueberries aside. Allow cream cheese to soften
- Cut the stems off the strawberry so they sit flat, cut side down. With a sharp knife, cut a deep “X” from the tip down, using care that you don’t cut all the way through.
- Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl, beating with a hand or electric mixer until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with a star tip or plastic ziplock bag cutting a small hole in the corner.
- Gently open up each strawberry and pipe the cream cheese filling in the center. Top with a blueberry. If desired, garnish with fresh mint. Refrigerate until serving.
- Soften cream cheese by setting out at room for 30 minutes (cutting into small cubes will speed up the softening process)
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days depending on how firm/soft the strawberries are.