It’s almost Valentine’s Day! The holiday of love, or as my single friends call it – Independence Day.
While the skeptics may think it’s a holiday created by mass marketers to sell cards, chocolate and flowers (and there may be a bit of prosaic truth to that) the starry-eyed romantics seize the opportunity to let the chubby, winged naked baby with a bow and arrow fire a dart into their ever-loving hearts. And I think that’s grand.
Among the traditional Valentine’s Day treats, there is one that uniquely fits in the frugal and fabulous category in which I dwell. Namely, chocolate-dipped strawberries.
You can give these to absolutely everybody and they’ll love you for it. Your paramour, your mother, your grumpy boss and everyone in between.
But I have a small request – please stop overpaying for chocolate-dipped strawberries.
When I see ads asking $29.99 plus shipping for a dozen dipped strawberries I want to roll up a newspaper and smack someone on the snout. Bad Diva!
Make them yourself because they’re embarrassingly easy to prepare. You choose the chocolate; dark, semi-sweet, white or milk chocolate. You can also choose the quality and cost of the chocolate.
For these photos, I used inexpensive chocolate bark candy coating, which is the easiest thing in the world to use.
Of course, I was photographing these in January with my New Year’s resolutions fresh on my brain so I didn’t want to use good dark chocolate or I would be powerless to resist them.
Although, really … dark chocolate-dipped strawberries are a very healthy treat.
I should have done that because I ended up eating quite a few of these – the ones that didn’t turn out pretty enough to photograph. I felt sorry for them. So, I ate them.
CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
What You’ll Need:
1 pound strawberries
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate – chopped
3 oz. white chocolate – chopped
Wash and completely dry your strawberries but don’t hull them. In a microwave-safe glass dish, melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, and stir. Microwave and stir at 20-second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
Holding the strawberry by the stem end, dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate. Place on parchment or wax paper to set. Repeat with the remaining strawberries.
To drizzle with white chocolate, repeat the heating process. Dip a fork in the chocolate and drizzle the strawberries.
To make tuxedo berries, dip in white chocolate and let set up. With dark chocolate, dip the sides of the berry at a 45-degree angle from both sides to make the “jacket”. Place on wax paper to set. Place some melted dark chocolate into a piping bag with a very small tip, or in a zip-top bag with the little corner snipped off and pipe on buttons and bow tie.
Presentation is key. Place them on a pretty plate or a festive box. Extra points for bows and hearts. Give them to people you love, especially yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website and blog – www.divasonadime.com
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