Cream Filled Strawberries

1 small pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 pints large strawberries, stemmed

Mix together pudding mix and milk. Let set up for a few minutes. Fold in the whipped cream and almond extract into the pudding mixture. Cut a deep “X” in the pointed end of each berry. Carefully spread apart cut berries to form four connected sections. Place the cream mixture into a pastry bag with a star or other decorative tip. Fill the center of each split berry with the cream mixture. (Mixture can also be spooned into strawberry instead of using a pastry bag.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Star-Spangled Strawberries:

Wash and pat dry large, firm strawberries. Dip one side of each strawberry in either melted semi-sweet dipping chocolate or vanilla flavored almond bark. (If using melted chocolate chips, add 1 teaspoon of shortening to thin.) Immediately roll coated side of strawberry in chopped nuts, coconut, or red, white, and blue candy sprinkles. Place on wax paper until chocolate is set. Eat as a snack or place on the top of ice cream, cakes, etc.

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