Just yesterday I was at the grocer’s picking up a few things for dinner. It was like a scene from the Walking Dead. Men and teenage boys wandered around aimlessly amid a maze of tables overflowing with flowers and stuffed bears holding satin hearts. Mylar balloons rustled overhead. All, I’m sure, fretting over the same question: “What in the h&@$ do I get her for Valentine’s Day”.
Well gents, if you are on a budget or short on time I’ve got the perfect solution for you! So, put down that stiff stuffed bear and give her something romantic made by YOU!
Chocolate covered strawberries are simple to make. They require no special cooking tools and are remarkably budget friendly. Not to mention their inherent sex appeal. A few helpful hints before we get cooking:
#1. In addition to the berries, give her a night to remember. Ladies love romance! A romantic movie, candles, dinner, can all be done from home. I personally avoid the V Day crowds at all costs.
#2. Pay attention to details. Candles, champagne, and for heaven’s sake, CLEAN YOUR HOUSE/APARTMENT!
#3. Buy the best ingredients you can afford. For this recipe, decadence is paramount. Cheap and waxy chocolate is the best way to ruin all your efforts. The most you should expect to spend on chocolate chips at the local grocer’s is $5, so don’t be a cheapskate by buying store brands.
This recipe is easy, but has a lot of moving parts depending on how fancy you want to get. Preparation is key. Have your work area ready to go. Melted chocolate dries quickly, so you’ll need to be able to work fast.
Strawberries (washed and dried well)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 bag is more than enough)
Toppings of your choice (I used shredded coconut, mini dark chocolate chips, and crushed Heath bars)
Microwave safe glass mixing bowl
Bowls for toppings
Let’s get started!
Wash and dry the strawberries REALLY WELL. Chocolate will not stick to a wet surface. Set them aside. Next, pour the semi-sweet chocolates into a glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. DO NOT WALK AWAY!!! Chocolate burns easily. Only heat at 30 second intervals. Heat, stir, repeat until the chocolate is fully melted. Remember, microwaves cook from the inside out. If you don’t stir the chocolate every 30 seconds, you run the risk of ruining the whole batch.
While the chocolate is melting, quickly set up your work station. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper (smooth side up), pour the toppings into bowls and line them up next to the wax paper. KEEP STIRRING THE CHOCOLATE!
Once the chocolate is melted, take a strawberry by the green bits and dip it into the chocolate. Quickly roll it into the topping of your choice, then gently place it on the cookie sheet. Variety is the spice of life, so be creative. After you’ve exhausted all of the ingredients, place the strawberry laden cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a few hours. That’s it. You’re done.
Now, quickly clean your place and make yourself presentable. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!