Monday, August 31, 2009

Chocolate Strawberry Dessert Cups

1 (15-oz) refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cup almonds sliced, toasted*
½ cup chocolate sprinkles
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (nutella®)
22 strawberries, diced
cocoa powder for garnishing

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 (8-oz.) container whipped topping

Heat oven to 450º F. On a lightly floured surface roll each pie crust into a 12 inch circle. Using a 3 ½ inch cookie cutter or a glass, punch out 22 circles. Place circles into un-greased muffin tin pans pressing the dough against the edges and bottom to form a cup. Using a fork make hole marks on the bottom and around the sides of each cup. Bake at 450º F. for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let pans cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. **
In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Spoon mixture into a large sealable plastic bag and cut the tip off of one corner; set aside. (If you have extra topping it can be mixed into pudding for a fun treat)
Place the chocolate sprinkles in a small bowl. Remove each pastry cup with a fork. Using a dull knife gently spread chocolate hazelnut spread around the rim of each cup. Dip the rims into the chocolate sprinkles making sure to coat the chocolate. Fill the bottom of each cup with: (in order indicated) 1 teaspoon almonds, 1 ½ teaspoons chocolate hazelnut spread, 1 ½ tablespoons strawberries, and pipe 1/8th cup of cream mixture on top of each cup. Dust the top of each cup with cocoa powder and garnish with three small strawberry pieces.

*Tip: To toast almonds, spread on cookie sheet; toast at 375º F. for 5 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally.
**Tip: Pastry cups can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

Yield: 22 servings

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