Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate-kissed Strawberries

Valentines day turns our thoughts to all things red, heart-shaped and of course, chocolate. How could chocolate covered strawberries not be the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

I love chocolate covered strawberries for so many reasons; they look fancy, feel special and taste amazing. Not to mention, they offer a healthy dose of Vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber! What other dessert does that? Best of all, they are dead-simple to make!

Choose the best strawberries you can find!

Florida strawberry season is December through March, allowing even our northern produce aisles to offer beautiful, domestic strawberries throughout the cold months. Often these berries are both gorgeous and flavorful. For chocolate covered strawberries, look for large berries of uniform size and bright red color that extends up to the stem.

Wash your strawberries in cool water and take care to dry them gently and thoroughly. If the strawberries are damp, the chocolate will not adhere properly.

Melting chocolate the simple way…

The simplest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. Using high quality chocolate chips avoids the need to chop chocolate and makes this recipe extra speedy. However, if you have a favorite chocolate bar brand, feel free to chop away, taking care to keep pieces relatively uniform so that melting is even.

The key with melting chocolate in the microwave is small bursts of heat (at a reduced percentage if you have a high wattage microwave). Chocolate can burn quickly, so small time increments of heat, with frequent stirring allow you to monitor the melting….stop as soon as your chocolate is smooth upon stirring, with no lumps.

Dunk, Twist and Set!

Once the chocolate is melted, the process is a simple as grabbing the strawberries by the leaves or stem, plunking them into the chocolate and dipping them side to side to allow coverage up to about 80% of the strawberry. Pull them from the chocolate, let any large drops fall back into the bowl and place them on a parchment lined tray to set up. Super simple.

Gild the lily….

Chocolate covered strawberries are gorgeous just the way they are. However, if you are interested in some additional embellishments there are plenty of options. My favorite is a little white chocolate drizzled over the top (see recipe for details).

Or, if sprinkles are your jam, lightly toss colored or chocolate sprinkles over the soft chocolate. This should be done right after the strawberries are dunked, before the chocolate has set up, to ensure the sprinkles fully adhere. Chopped peanuts or almonds work great as well. Even crushed cookies, flaked coconut or tiny bits of dehydrated strawberries would add delicious crunch and flavor!

A Nutrition Minute…

This treat offers all the nutritional benefits of strawberries; Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The chocolate covered variety comes in at approximately 40 calories each for a large strawberry. A serving of 3 chocolate covered strawberries is 120 calories, with almost 3 grams of fiber and 50% of the recommended Vitamin C for an adult female. Not bad for dessert!

Show your love this month by making this easy, yet impressive, homemade treat for your Valentine!

Sweet Ripe Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Juicy, ripe strawberries cloaked in rich chocolate- a divine combination!
Prep Time 10 mins
20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 lb. strawberries Approximately 12 very large or 16-20 medium sized berries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Wash the strawberries gently in cool water, and dry thoroughly. It is important that the strawberries are completely dry – moisture will prevent the chocolate from properly adhering to the strawberries.
  • Line a sheet tray with parchment or wax paper.
  • Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 min, remove and stir. Microwave for another 45 seconds and stir again. If chocolate chips are not fully melted, keep microwaving in 15 second increments, stirring each time, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Chocolate can burn very quickly, so it is important to use small time increments.
  • Holding a strawberry by the stem or leaves, dunk it into the warm chocolate, tipping it gently from side to side to coat the strawberry. Leave a small amount of red fruit showing at the top of the berry. Lay the berry on the parchement paper lined sheet tray.
  • Repeat for the first 6 berries.
  • Using the same melting procedure, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave, taking care not to let the chocolate burn.
  • To make the white striping on the chocolate covered berries, stir the white chocolate with a fork, and lifting the fork, let any large globs fall back into the bowl. Gently wave the fork a few inches above the covered berries, letting small lines of white chocolate fall over the covered berries.
  • Repeat the process for the remaining strawberries, coating a small batch in semi-sweet chocolate and then decorating them with the white chocolate. The melted chocolates can be warmed again for 15-30 seconds in the microwave if they become too thick.
  • Let the chocolate set up at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Notes

Berries are best eaten shortly after being made but they can be stored in layers between pieces of parchment or wax paper in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.