Simple Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

This week is Valentine’s Day. Most of us like to celebrate in some way. Perhaps you are planning a romantic dinner with your special someone, or maybe you are like me and want to plan a celebration that includes your kids.

We always celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. When I was a kid my mother would make a nice dinner that always included pink biscuits that were cut into hearts rather than circles. It was a small and simple way to mark the occasion.

This year, I plan to make a nice dinner for the family. We don’t usually have dessert on weeknights, but I will be making some chocolate dipped strawberries. You can buy chocolate dipped strawberries at the grocery store or local bakery, but they are very expensive. This recipe makes a full pound of strawberries for very little money. It uses simple ingredients, but there are a few tip to ensure success.

Tip 1- Use room-temperature strawberries. Sometimes strawberries are refrigerated and sometimes they are sold at room temperature. I like to store mine in the refrigerator to keep them fresh as long as possible. I recommend taking them out of the refrigerator and washing and drying them a few hours before you dip them.

Tip 2- Dry the strawberries completely. Water is the enemy of chocolate and can cause it to seize. A drop of water in a bowl of melted chocolate will cause it to solidify and crumble. Once chocolate has seized, it can no longer be used for dipping.

Tip 3- If you are using a zip top bag for the white chocolate drizzle, cut the tip of the corner off before you put in the chocolate. I have put the chocolate in the bag and then cut off the corner and I find it harder to get a good clean cut. If you cut the bag before you can get a nice small hole.

Tip 4- DO NOT REFRIGERATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES – I don’t mean to be dramatic, but this is really important. When you refrigerate the dipped strawberries they will start to “weep.” The strawberries release a little liquid and then they separate from the chocolate. This causes them to feel mushy in  your mouth and the chocolate shell slips off. You can make them up to 1 day in advance, but keep them at room temperature.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

1 Pound Ripe Strawberries, washed and dried well at room temperature

1 Cup Chocolate Chips (I like semi-sweet.)

1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons White Candy Melts (optional for drizzling)

Directions

Line a baking sheet or large cutting board with wax paper.

Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl that is not too large. You want the chocolate to be deep enough to dip. You could also use a 1 cup glass measuring cup. Add the coconut oil to the chocolate chips and microwave on high for 1 minute. Gently stir the chocolate. If it is not completely melted after stirring, microwave another 20 seconds. Stir well and repeat 20 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted, but be careful not to overheat the chocolate as it will burn easily. The chips will hold their shape even when melted so it is important to stir frequently.

Pick up the strawberry and gently lift the stem away from the flesh leaving it attached. Holding the stem, dip the strawberry in the melted chocolate, turning to coat all around. Let the excess drip off and then set the strawberry on the wax paper. Continue until all the strawberries are dipped. Make sure to leave a little room between each berry so you have room to add drizzle.

In a small microwave safe bowl, add the white candy melts. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well. If it is not completely melted, microwave another 20 seconds and stir again. Repeat until melted. Be very careful not to overheat the candy melts as they burn easily. Use a pastry bag with a small round tip or cut a small piece off the corner of a zip top bag. Add the melted white candy to the bag. Drizzle a fine stream of white candy over the dipped strawberries.

Let the chocolate cool and harden on the strawberries. This will take 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve at room temperature. Dipped strawberries will last about 1 day. Do not place in an air-tight container and do not refrigerate when storing.