Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I didn't want a very heavy dessert tonight s every one was eating so much because of the holidays, yet, I wanted something festive, and fast and easy.  I opted for Chocolate Covered Strawberries and I think they accomplished my goal.

My friend Maria makes the most delicious chocolate covered strawberries.  Whenever we are having a party, she makes trays of them.  I was experimenting with the recipe a few weeks ago and made some changes, and decided to try dipping them in things other than just chocolate.   The possibilities are endless.  I have used crushed Oreo cookies, mini M & M's, mini chocolate chips, crushed cashews, crushed Pepperidge Farm Tahiti Cookies, coconut, Heath Bar Bits...try your favorites and get creative!!!

Maria's recipe is listed below, but I will tell you how I made mine


Maria Trainor

48 large strawberries with leaves still attached

2 bags (12 ounces) Hershey® or Nestle® chocolate chips

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Wipe the strawberries off with a paper towel, but do not wash them.  Keep the stems and leaves attached.  Fill the bottom of a double boiler with hot water.  Place the chocolate and vegetable oil in the top of a double boiler, and melt the chocolate pieces and the vegetable oil together, (making sure that the water does not boil but just gets hot and simmers.)  When the chocolate is completely melted, dip each strawberry into the chocolate and place into a Reynolds™ mini size foil baking cup (mini cupcake holder) and place on a cookie sheet.  Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens and strawberries are chilled.  This can be done a day in advance.

Here are the ingredients for the Chocolate Covered Strawberries, but there is one correction, and I will explain it later. You will substitute vegetable oil (2 teaspoons) for the butter

You will also need the following:

Line two cookie sheets with waxed paper

Today,  I used two containers of strawberries, (1) 12 ounce bag of mini chocolate chips, 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, and various toppings.  Note: The first time you do this you may want to have a few extra bags of chocolate chips around in case you have a problem melting them.

Decide if you are going to dip the strawberries in anything except the chocolate.  If you are, set out the number of bowls to equal the number of toppingd you are going to dip the strawberries in.  Today, I decided to do mini chocolate chips, crushed Tahiti cookies, chopped cashews, Heath bar bits, and coconut.  

Place whatever doesn't need any additional crushing, chopping, etc into their bowls.  Then crush or chop away.

I put the Tahiti cookies in a sandwich bag, and lightly tap with with a meat mallet

Don't make them too fine

I did the same thing with the cashews

Place the chocolate chips into a microwave safe container and add the oil  (you will see in the pictures that I added butter.  

The first batch of chocolate seized (which means it hardened and had to be thrown away.  

This was due to the butter, so I went back to Maria's recipe and 

substituted the vegetable oil. 

 I did my chocolate in the microwave, but you can use the double boiler.  

Microwave the chocolate for about 45 seconds, and check it.

  It may not look melted, but stir it.  If should start to loosen immediately. 

 If it didn't, then microwave another 15 seconds, and check again. 

 Microwave in 15 second intervals.  It shouldn't take more than a 1 minute - 1 1/2 minutes

Line everything up so you can work quickly

Dip the strawberry into the chocolate 

and then into the desired topping

Place on the waxed paper lined cookie sheet

Repeat until all strawberries are done

Refrigerate until firm then

Place into the Reynolds mini size foil baking cups

Arrange beautifully on a platter before serving...Bet you can't eat just one!!!


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