Fancy Chocolate Covered Strawberries {on a budget}

platter 2Every year around this time, I see grocery stores advertising chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day. I am always amazed at the price.

“You can get a pack of 4 for just $5.99!”

What? That’s about $1.50 per strawberry! Maybe I am missing something. Maybe the stores have some special trick I don’t know about, but I bought strawberries this week for $2.50 for a one-pound box. There were about 25 strawberries in each box. If I did my math correctly, that’s only about $.10 per strawberry. Of course, when I add the chocolate, we may be up to $.20 per strawberry.more berries

I realize that the ones from the store are probably larger premium strawberries, but still.  If you are selective in choosing your box of strawberries, you can usually get really nice ones. The store-bought ones cannot be worth $1.50 per berry, especially when you can make them so easily at home. I know, I know. My cheapo-ness is exploding all over this post… Sorry.bite

The trick to making your strawberries look extra fancy is to dry them upside down on toothpicks stuck in floral foam rather than just laying them on parchment paper. This way, you get a smooth coating of chocolate all the way around instead of having one flat side. You can also drizzle them with another type of chocolate in the same fashion to get the decoration all the way around.ccs

Want a suggestion for a budget-friendly Valentine date? Borrow a good movie from the library and watch it with your sweetie after the kids go to bed while nibbling on these chocolate covered strawberries. Sounds like a dream date to me. 🙂

Hey, and if you want me to make the strawberries for you, I’ll give you a great deal–4 for $5.

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Fancy Chocolate Covered Strawberries {on a budget}

Ingredients:50 50

  • Whole fresh strawberries
  • chocolate of your choice (I use a mix of half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet)
  • optional: sprinkles, crushed nuts, colored sugar, etc.

Other supplies:

  • floral foam blocks or rounds (found mine at the Dollar Store)
  • toothpicks
  • parchment paper
  • zip top bags
  • optional: cupcake liners

Instructions:

  1. Put an appropriate amount of chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of water. Let chocolate melt slowly on low heat.
  2. Rinse strawberries and set them on paper towels to dry while the chocolate melts.rinse and dry
  3. Put an appropriate number of floral foam blocks on a baking sheet.floral foam
  4. When the chocolate has melted, pat dry a strawberry if it is not fully dry. Insert a toothpick about 1/3 of the way into the top of the strawberry where the leaves come out. Pull the leaves up around the toothpick and hold the pick and the leaves in your fingers. Dip the strawberry into the melted chocolate, tapping or shaking off any excess. Quickly flip the strawberry to an upside down position and then stick the toothpick into a foam block, far enough that it is stable. I usually start putting strawberries in the center of the foam block to stabilize it; if you put it in an edge, the block may become top heavy and tip over. Repeat for the desired number of strawberries, making sure to space them far enough apart that the chocolate doesn’t get smudged. (If you want to add sprinkles, nuts, or colored sugar to your strawberries, you need to do it while the chocolate is still wet.)
  5. After all of the strawberries are dipped, let them cool in the refrigerator or another cool place.white drying
  6. If desired, melt a different type or color of chocolate. Put this chocolate into a zip top bag and then snip a very small corner off the bag. Pick up each strawberry and drizzle the chocolate with one hand while rotating the strawberry in the other. Return the strawberry to the floral foam to set. (If you don’t care about the drizzle going all the way around the strawberry, you can lay the strawberries out on a pan and just drizzle the chocolate back and forth until it is to your liking.) Let strawberries set.  Store in the refrigerator or a cool place.
  7. Once the chocolate is set, serve as desired. When I make these for a crowd, I like to set each berry in a cupcake liner on a serving platter.platter
  8. Strawberries do not keep well. Eat these the same day they are made for best results. Keep refrigerated.
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