I am not a crafty person. I wish I were, but in the end, my seams go crooked, my icing runs or I dent an item when I move it to the refrigerator.
I believe it is important to understand one’s limits.
But chocolate dipped strawberries are easy—even if you decorate them (for Memorial Day or July 4th?!). Today I served brunch with blue and white plates, red napkins and patriotic strawberries. I almost looked crafty after all!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- 1 bag of chocolate chips
- 1 quart of clean dry unbruised strawberries, with caps still attached
- Colored jimmies or other decorations (optional)
- Microwave about 1/2 cup of chocolate at a time in a small microwave safe dish like a custard cup. Heat chocolate for about 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between to avoid burning.
- Holding a strawberry by the cap end, dip and roll it in the melted chocolate, leaving cap end free of chocolate. Immediately sprinkle berry with jimmies or other decorations (if using).
- If you are obsessive about shape, place a fondue fork (some people use toothpicks) into the stem end and set upright in a glass to solidify. For more efficient production (probably 3 times as fast), set soft berries on wax paper and place in the freezer for a minute or two. (you get a slight flattening or pooling, but they still look good).
- Place in mini-muffin cups for serving. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Serve the same day.
Ready to take the plunge? Here are some tips:
- Dry your strawberries thoroughly. Water can make chocolate “seize,” or turn dry and clumpy. If your chocolate seizes, you may be able to restore it by adding a small amount of oil, reheating and stirring. Unfortunately, it will usually be too soft for dipping then (with the possible exception of using a little coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature—I haven’t tested this).
- While double boilers work very well for melting chocolate, the fact that they are fairly wide may mean you waste more chocolate trying to keep it “deep” enough to roll the berries in. A small bowl of (carefully watched) microwaved chocolate gets around this.
- Get at least double the strawberries you need so you can skip the bruised ones (then cut off the bruises and eat the berries au natural!)
- Sprinkling decorations on just dipped chocolate is super easy. Adding colored drizzles & swirls is more advanced (I decided that sprinkles were pretty enough!).
- Colored sugar shows up well on white chocolate (which unfortunately kept seizing on me—perhaps I should have tried the Wilton wafers), but only bigger decorations like the nonpareils, jimmies, or sugar stars stood out on the dark.
- Use organic strawberries if they are available. Strawberries typically rank high on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t be afraid—if I can do this, so can you!