Friday, February 10, 2012

February Friday Flashback: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Tuesday is Valentine's Day and it seems that one of the most popular Valentine's treats is chocolate-covered strawberries.  You can buy chocolate-covered strawberries, but they come with a hefty price tag.  Sumiko and I were looking through the grocery ads this week and noticing the prices various grocery stores had for chocolate-covered strawberries.  They ranged anywhere from 4 strawberries for $5.99 to 4 strawberries for $9.99.  Yes, one store was asking almost TEN DOLLARS for 4 strawberries!  However, while looking through the ads, I also noticed most stores had strawberries on sale.  The cheapest I found was 1 lb for $1.50, which is more than I usually pay for them, but I might splurge for a special occasion.  And while you can buy special chocolate dips to make your own chocolate-covered strawberries, it's easy and even cheaper to make your own with regular chocolate chips!  I shared this recipe about a year and a half ago, but I thought it would be good to post it again right before Valentine's Day.  Enjoy!

One of my favorite treats is chocolate-covered strawberries!!  However, they can cost an arm and leg to buy.  I've seen them in bakeries for $4 per strawberry and online for $50 per dozen, which is the low end of the price spectrum, believe it or not.  Thankfully chocolate-covered strawberries are easy to make at home and cost much less.  In fact, I made about 20 (I forgot to count, so I don't know how many I made!) for approximately $3!  I usually wait for strawberries to go on sale for $1 per pound or less - which they often do in the summer - before I buy them.

Dipping Chocolate
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening

In a microwave-safe bowl or mug, place chocolate chips and shortening.

Microwave for 1 minute, then stir.  Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until chocolate and shortening are smooth, being careful not to overheat the chocolate.  Depending on how thick or thin you want your chocolate, you may need to adjust the amount of shortening.  Note: For you bakers out there wondering why I didn't temper my chocolate, it's because this works just fine for what I'm trying to accomplish.  Also, this method is much easier.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Dipping Chocolate
White chocolate (optional)
Shortening (optional)

Clean strawberries and dry.  This is important because any moisture in your chocolate will cause lumps.

In the meantime, line a plate with wax paper.

Once the strawberries are dry, pick them up by the stem/leaves and dip into the chocolate.  Swirl the strawberry around to coat the entire strawberry, except a little bit at the top.  Remove the strawberry and shake off any excess chocolate.

Place the dipped strawberry onto your prepared plate.  Allow chocolate to cool and harden.

In the summer, I place mine in the refrigerator to set.  Once the chocolate has hardened on the strawberries, I like to drizzle some white chocolate on the strawberries to add some decoration.  To do this, I melt white chocolate chips with shortening.  Keep in mind that in order to drizzle the chocolate, it needs to be thinner than the dipping chocolate, so your chocolate to shortening ratio is going to be different.  Once the white chocolate has reached the desired consistency, dip a spoon into it.  Hold the spoon about 4 to 6 inches above the strawberries, and quickly move it back and forth over the strawberries.  Allow white chocolate to set.

Viola!  You've got chocolate-covered strawberries!  Simply add some nice packaging, and you've got a great gift that didn't cost you $50 but easily could have!

For some added variety, you can dip the strawberries into white chocolate and drizzle with chocolate.  (Fun fact: I made some white chocolate ones, but left them in the freezer [I put them in there to speed them up a bit] until the next day.  Woops!  I would have pictures, but they were frozen and the chocolate had cracked.) I've also seen a lot of websites that dip their chocolate covered strawberries in sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, nuts, and an assortment of other toppings.  Be creative with this one and have fun! 


cheri said...

I just can't help but notice you said "Viola!". Does that mean they're so good an orchestra plays?

Sumiko said...

Ha! We both missed that one! Kimiko did used to play the violin.

ISO 22000 Training said...

These are really mouth watering chocolate covered strawberries! Thank you for sharing such great recipe!

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