Guys, I’m so proud.
I came up with a dessert that is: 
1. Fast and easy to make. 
2. Requires only a few ingredients.
3. Is perfect for tons of occasions.

I’m very happy. These stuffed strawberries are so simple and so good; as soon as I popped the first one in my mouth, my first thought was, “I’m going to make these all the time!” It won’t be long before I start working on a vegan version and share it here on Food For The Face!
Of course, strawberries are in season in the late spring and summer, but you really can make these all year. Serve them on a dessert table, with brunch, as a snack, or even as a party finger food. They’re just the right combination of rich and refreshing!


Panna Cotta Stuffed Strawberries

2 lbs. large fresh strawberries
1 pint of half & half
2 tsp (less than one envelope) gelatin
⅓ cup sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp lemon extract (optional)

Pour approximately ⅓ of the pint of half & half into a saucepan, and refrigerate the remainder in its carton. Sprinkle gelatin over the half and half, followed by sugar. Place over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil, whisking occasionally.
When sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved, remove from heat and set saucepan aside to cool. Meanwhile, prepare strawberries.
Gently rinse strawberries with cool water, and drain. Place strawberries on a paper towel to dry. Using a paring knife, slice off the green leaves from each strawberry. Using the same knife and/or a metal ¼ tsp measure (functioning like a melon-baller), scoop out a cavity from each strawberry, taking care not to go too deep or leave the red flesh too thin. Slice off the very tip of the strawberry so it stands  upright on its own. Discard strawberry tip or place it inside the cavity. Place each prepared strawberry into an egg carton cavity*.
Add lemon and vanilla extracts, and remaining half & half to cooled saucepan mixture and whisk to combine completely.
Use a baster or a small dropper, OR transfer half & half mixture to a spouted measuring cup. Carefully fill each strawberry cavity full, using a toothpick to burst any bubbles that form.
Chill strawberries for at least 2 hours, or until panna cotta is set. Serve chilled within 48 hours.
*Tip: the strawberries can be perfectly and safely stored in an egg carton! Plastic is best; if you only have cardboard cartons, crumble up some parchment paper, flatten it back out, and then press it into the egg cups as a barrier It’s so easy to get each strawberry out with a small spoon.

Lastly and most importantly, there are SO many ways to garnish these and add extra flavor! Here are some of my favorite ideas:

Blueberries
Perfect for 4th of July or Brunch!

Fresh Mint
Beautiful on Christmas or Cinco De Mayo

Chocolate Shavings or Sauce
Two words: Valentines Day.

Balsamic Reduction and/or Fresh Basil
A little basil goes a long way, so use it very sparingly!

One Toasted Hazelnut
Crunchy and nutty goodness. This would also be a good place to add some chocolate.

For other holidays, try some themed candy, like sprinkles for a birthday, green mini M&M’s for Christmas, Conversation hearts for Valentines Day, speckled eggs for Easter, or silver star sprinkles for 4th of July. 

For more 4th of July recipes, click here.
For more birthday recipes and party ideas, click here.
For more Valentines Day recipes, click here.
For more New Year’s Eve recipes, click here.
For more Cinco De Mayo ideas, click here.

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