Some days you need dessert. What do you do when you're having one of those days, but you're trying to eat healthy to stay in shape for your wedding? Your desire for dessert is growing stronger and stronger until you risk eating an entire gallon of ice cream all by yourself. You've tied your hands behind your back to refrain from snacking on the half-empty bag of chocolate chips you keep in the freezer for emergency cookies. And, just when you think you've beat the craving, you get invited to dinner and without thinking, spit out, "I'LL BRING DESSERT" Gasp. Now you've really done it.
Fruit is my go-to healthier dessert option, but I couldn't very well bring only sliced fruit to a dinner party where I've offered to make dessert. Especially since our landlords invited us up for dinner to celebrate our engagement. Celebrations require dessert, no ifs ands or buts about it. And with only about 20 minutes to break from my writing to whip up something sweet, these strawberries and cream sandwiches are the perfect find for the health-conscious busy bee like myself! Sure, as a creamy velvety cheese, mascarpone seems like a dangerous choice. However, this recipe uses it in moderation, weighing these fruity, creamy, and rich sandwiches in at only 130 calories each. What guilt-free dessert could possibly be better than juicy strawberries drenched in smooth cream and pressed between sweet crunchy biscuit crackers? Maybe only if the graham crackers themselves were homemade, but that's not going to happen in the kitchen of a graduate student on the precipice of her qualifying exam.
Guilt-free strawberries and cream sandwiches
- 1 large egg white
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 2½ tablespoons water
- Smigden of salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 ounces of mascarpone cheese
- 1½ cups sliced strawberries
- 10 low-fat honey graham crackers, halved
- In a heat proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg white, sugar, salt, and water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract and mascarpone cheese and beat just until combined.
- Place 2½ tablespoons of strawberry slices on top of half a graham cracker.
- Spoon 1½ tablespoons of the whipped mascarpone topping over the strawberries and top with a second half of a graham cracker.