CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES

For summer entertaining, chocolate-covered strawberries are a delicious dessert treat that are easy to make and won’t heat up your kitchen.  I’m always surprised to learn how many people have never made them or think they’re too difficult to make at home, and for those people, this post is for you.

Begin with the most beautiful firm, bright red strawberries you can find.  Check for ripeness by making sure they smell like strawberries.

Use any chocolate that you like.  You can use plain old chocolate chips, or get fancy with fair trade chocolate, 85% cacao dark chocolate, or single estate chocolate made from cocoa beans picked from a single tree by a single person.  But don’t overthink it — I use Hershey’s bars, and they work just fine and taste great.  Whatever you do, don’t use candy melts (also known as confectionery coating) — it’s not fair to the strawberries.

Make sure everything you’re using is dry and free from water drops, including the strawberries and the cooking equipment.  Otherwise, your chocolate may seize up, and then the party’s over.

The secret to a smooth chocolate coating on your berries is a tablespoon of shortening.  (I had a friend that used paraffin, but I don’t consider that a food, so I wouldn’t recommend it.)  Crisco works great (which I also don’t really consider a food.)  Simply melt the chocolate and shortening together in a small saucepan — no tempering, no water bath (which you are free to do, but your berries will not taste any better and you’ll just be in the kitchen longer and make a bigger mess).

To dress up your berries, you can sprinkle them with jimmies, nuts, or toffee bits, although they look just as tempting plain.  You can also drizzle them with white chocolate.  If you’re really in it to win it, you can use a syringe to inject them with Grand Marnier.

Have some fun and get dipping!

CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES
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Recipe type: Dessert
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Ingredients
  • 8-9 ounces of chocolate (chocolate chips, Hershey's bars, dark chocolate -- your pick)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 pound strawberries, cleaned and thoroughly dried
Instructions
  1. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
  2. Place the chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. (If using candy bars, coarsely chop chocolate before adding to saucepan.). Remove from heat.
  3. Holding 1 strawberry by its green top, dip ¾ of the berry into the melted chocolate (tip pan slightly to make it easier to dip). Let excess chocolate drip into pan. Place on prepared baking sheet. (If desired, can sprinkle with jimmies or nuts at this point.) Repeat with remaining berries. Refrigerate until chocolate coating is firm, approximately 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

 IMG_6204Hershey’s bars and Crisco — easy!

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Stir together until melted

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Pretty smooth, huh?

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Time to get dippin’

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Nothing says “party” like a few sprinkles

Ta-da!

For my loves

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