Hand Dipped Chocolate Covered Strawberries

It's almost Chocolate Time Day... I mean Valentine's Day! Whenever the holidays roll around you and your sweetheart may find it difficult to stay focused on eating right, especially when there is chocolate everywhere you turn.  This year for dessert try making your own chocolate covered strawberries.  By making them yourself you can control the amount of sugar, butter, and milk.  You can even control the chocolate.  Below the directions are a few variations to spice up the evening.
Ingredients
 16 oz Strawberries
1/4 cup Butter softened
1/4 cup Milk 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 3 1/2 cups Confectioner Sugar
Directions
Gather your equipment and ingredients.
Measure your ingredients.
Add the confectioner's sugar. Sifted confectioner's sugar works best.
Add the cocoa.  
Add the butter.
Whisk until blended.
Add milk. In this picture I am adding water, which will decrease the amount of calories and sugars.
Whisk until creamy.
Pour chocolate into a bowl for dipping.  You will need a fork for dipping and a plate for placing the dipped strawberries. In this picture I have a bottle of the chocolate, which I poured in using a funnel.  I also have some red gel coloring for decoration.
Place a fork in the hull of the strawberry.
Dip the strawberry into the chocolate and swirl it to cover all sides.
Slide the dipped strawberry off of the fork and onto the plate.
You can use the bottled chocolate to decorate instead of dipping.  Once all strawberries have been dipped place in the refrigerator to set.  Remove from refrigerator 5 minutes before serving your sweetie.
Variations
Cooked Instead of whisking your ingredients this recipe can be cooked.
  1. Sift the sugar into a bowl and add the the cocoa. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter and milk in a sauce pan on low.  Stir occasionally and cook until the butter has melted. By cooking on a low temperature you will avoid burning your chocolate.
  3. With a spatula slow stir in the sugar cocoa mix until well blended. Remove from heat.
  4. Dip your strawberries and place on a plate.
Vegan and Lactose Intolerant To make this a vegan dish substitute the milk with water or a non dairy milk, and substitute the butter with a margarine.  I like baking with Smart Butter.  It has a great buttery flavor and omega 3s. Milk You can further reduce the calories in this dish by using non fat milk, 2% milk or a non dairy milk like soy, rice, or almond.  Usinf half and half or cream will give the chocolate a very rich flavor, but more calories. Flavors Coffee - Dissolve 1 teaspoon of coffee into the water used to add a coffee note to the chocolate. Coffee brings out the rich flavor of chocolate. Simple Syrup - Soak (or inject) the strawberries in a simple syrup to add extra sweetness.  Simple syrup is made with equal parts sugar and water melted in a sauce pan.  Do not boil. Peppermint - Add a teaspoon of peppermint (or any imitation flavor) to the chocolate and whisk for additional flavor. Nuts - Dip the strawberries in nut for extra crunch ( a little added nutrition too). Sea Salt - Sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the chocolate covered strawberry.  You will be surprised of the mouthfeel. Chipotle / Cayenne Pepper - To spice up your evening dust chipotle or cayenne pepper on the strawberries. Tequila - Last but not least soak the strawberries in Tequila for an hour before dipping in the chocolate. Oh what a night!

Golden, Sweet, and Informative

http://www.cornbreadandmolasses.com

 

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