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Homemade Valentine Treats

Homemade chocolate covered strawberries!

Every year when Valentine’s Day arrives, people spend lots of money on jewelry, candles, flowers, and other types of gifts in an attempt to prove their love. While most of these gifts are sure to be appreciated, making a sweet treat to share might offer an opportunity to truly indicate the level of your caring. Plus, homemade chocolate-covered strawberries are simple to make, store and eat!

Shopping Stage: You’ll need a few things to help you make this delicious treat. You can shop for the items that you don’t currently have or borrow the non-perishable ones.

Perishable Items:
• Large, fully ripe strawberries that still have their greens (You’ll need about one pint.)
• Dark/milk chocolate for dipping (You’ll need two cups of baking chips or 16 ounces of chocolate blocks.)
• White chocolate for drizzling (You’ll need 3 ounces.)

Non-Perishable Items:
• Colander to drain the berries
• Paper towels to dry the berries
• Wax paper
• Full-sized spatula
• Double boiler or bowl that is microwave safe
• Cookie sheets to hold the berries while the chocolate sets (about two)

Preparatory Stage: Rinse all of the berries, placing them in the colander to drain most of the water. Place the strawberries on paper toweling and allow them to air dry. If necessary, use a paper towel to blot the berries dry. It is important to remove all of the water because it can interfere with the dipping process.

While you are waiting for the strawberries to dry off, line the cookie sheets with waxed paper. The paper helps to prevent the berries from sticking to the cookie sheets and makes it easier to remove them since you can simply peel it off.

Dipping Phase: Place water in the lower half of the double boiler and bring it to boiling. Place the chocolate that you have purchased in the upper half of the double boiler until it melts, stirring constantly to prevent burning and/or sticking. If you prefer, you can use a microwave-safe bowl to melt the chocolate. Simply place the chocolate in the bowl and microwave it for thirty seconds. Stir the chocolate and repeat this step as often as necessary until all of the chocolate has melted.

Dip the strawberries into the melted chocolate, allowing it to drip any excess chocolate back into the boiler or bowl. Place the strawberries onto the cookie sheet without allowing them to touch. If desired, place the trays into the refrigerator for faster cooling and setting.

Once the chocolate has set (dried), you can decorate them with melted white chocolate. Simply use one of the above methods for melting the chocolate, using a clean boiler or bowl. Allow the white chocolate to set.

Presentation Phase: Once your chocolate-covered strawberries are ready, you can place them in a gift box, basket, or decorative plate for gifting. Just make sure that you use waxed or tissue paper to keep the berries from sticking! Just attach a card or love note with a sentimental message and you have the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

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