It’s almost Valentine’s Day!
The holiday dedicated to love, or as my single friends call it – Independence Day.
While the skeptical among us may think it’s a holiday created by mass marketers to sell cards, chocolate and flowers (and there may be a whole lot of prosaic truth to that) the starry-eyed romantics will seize the opportunity to let the chubby, naked baby with wings and a bow and arrow fire a dart into their ever lovin’ hearts.
And I think that’s grand!
Among the traditional Valentine’s Day treats, there is one that uniquely fits in the frugal and fabulous category in which I dwell. Namely, chocolate dipped strawberries. A classic.
You can give these to absolutely everybody and they’ll love you for it. Your paramour, your mother, your grumpy old boss and everyone in between.
But I have a small request – please stop over paying for chocolate dipped strawberries.
When I see ads asking $29.99 plus shipping for a dozen dipped strawberries I want to roll up a newspaper and smack someone on the snout. Bad Diva!
You can totally make them yourself. In fact, they’re embarrassingly easy to prepare. You can customize them to suit your tastes and budget. You get your choice of chocolate; dark, semi-sweet, white or milk chocolate or mix it up. You can also choose the quality and cost of the chocolate.
For the purpose of these photos I used inexpensive chocolate bark candy coating, which is the easiest thing in the world to use. Of course, I was photographing these in January with my New Year’s resolutions fresh on my brain so I didn’t want to use good dark chocolate or I would be powerless to resist them.
Although, really . . . dark chocolate dipped strawberries are a very healthy treat.
I should have just used dark chocolate because I ended out eating quite a few of these. The ones that didn’t turn out pretty enough to photograph. I felt sorry for them. So, I ate them.
CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
What You’ll Need:
- 1 pound strawberries
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate – chopped or chips
- 3 oz. white chocolate – optional – chopped or chips
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, set aside.
- Wash and completely dry your strawberries but don’t hull them. They need to be really dry because any drips of water can cause the chocolate to seize. And that’s bad.
- In a microwave-safe glass dish, melt the chocolate in the microwave on HIGH power for 30 seconds. Remove, and stir. Continue to microwave and stir at 20 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
- Holding the strawberry by the stem end or “shoulders”, dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate. Set strawberries on parchment or wax paper. Repeat with the remaining strawberries.
- To drizzle with white chocolate, repeat the heating process with the white chocolate. Dip a fork in the chocolate and drizzle the strawberries, OR like I did here, pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip, OR put it in a zip top bag with a tiny little corner snipped off and drizzle till you drop.
- To make tuxedo berries, dip the berry in white chocolate (you can just dip the front, if you wish) and let set up. Next, dip each side of the berry at a 45-degree angle to make the “jacket”. Place on wax paper to set.
- Place some melted dark colored chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip, or in a zip top bag with a tiny little corner snipped off and pipe on buttons and bow tie. You may want to practice on wax paper before you attack a strawberry.
You can dip strawberries in more than just chocolate. Get creative and dip them in marshmallow cream and then graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter and tiny chocolate chips, honey and granola, cream cheese frosting and sprinkles, any kind of frosting and crushed cookies, chopped nuts, see where I’m going? Anything.
With these berries, presentation is key. Place them on a pretty plate or in a festive box. But be sure the recipient doesn’t shake the box! Extra points for bows and hearts.
Give them to people you love, especially yourself.