Valentines Day is next week. Did you know that? I'm sure you did; I'm sure everyone does. I should have known that, but somehow it escaped my attention. I don't know how that is possible, since everywhere I look its red velvet this, and heart shaped that (which I love!). Not to mention, the fact that I do look at a calendar almost daily. But somehow I just did not recognize that the big day of love is just over a week away. Not that it matters much to me or my hubby. Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple was an all out splurge. We rented a hotel room (literally across the street from our tiny apartment), bought each other pricey and elaborate gifts, and splurged on a 3-course meal at the nicest restaurant in our hometown. It took only one holiday like this to recognize that we were now sharing our money, and didn't quite have the cash in our meager student budget to do such crazy things. After that, I can only remember bits and pieces of Valentine Day celebrations...like burgers from Burger King after a crazy day at work, or falling asleep on the couch while watching episodes of Seinfeld...you know, really romantic things like that. So I'm not too concerned with the fact that Valentine's Day is creeping up on me, except for the fact that I have 3 lovely desserts that would be absolutely perfect for this cute little holiday that I need to share with you before then! So I had better get to it! And I will start with this wonderfully sweet concoction. My husband put this in the top 3 desserts that I have ever made! That is big. It was so good and creamy and perfect in fact, that I actually made it twice in the same week! We all loved it and I think it would be the perfect ending to any Valentine's Day dinner!
Strawberry Cream Pie
1 cup (6 ounce) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3 teaspoon shortening, divided
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 fat cream cheese both times)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 ounce) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 9 or 10 inch Springform pan with cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl and press into the springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. I put mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes. In a microwave, melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons of shortening. Stir until smooth. Brush or spread over prepared crust. Refrigerate until firm.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Arrange strawberries over pie. In a microwave, heat jam until melted. Brush over the top of the strawberries and pie. Melt remaining chocolate chips and shortening. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over pie (I melted mine in a plastic bag and then cut the corner off to make drizzling a cinch). Refrigerate until chilled.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home and Our Best Bites
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