I know Valentine's Day is sort of silly... but I really love all the cute love cards and heart shaped foods that float around this time of year. Reuben and I don't really buy gifts for each other on Valentine's Day, instead we make something edible for each other! Last year I made him homemade everything bagels, which made for super yummy breakfast sandwiches, and he made me an amazing pizza. Reuben literally makes the best pizza. THE BEST. He's been perfecting his recipe for the last 2 years and I think he is ready to go professional. I've asked him if I could share his recipe here but he said no... you might need to buy him a bunch of beer to get that recipe out of him.
This year I'm planning on making a lamb dinner, that's all I got at this point... typically something more creative comes to me while I'm wandering around the aisles of Whole Foods. For a sweet treat I've made these white chocolate covered strawberries. For the record, I am definitely on Team White Chocolate. I know I know I know, white chocolate isn't real chocolate. I've heard that about a billion times. It's my favorite and I don't care about the haters.
Chocolate covered strawberries make for a great gift for your boo, especially if you've procrastinated and its February 13th and you haven't bought anything yet. These only take about 30 minutes to whip up and won't disappoint.
Fun Fact: I actually briefly worked at a chocolate shop in high school. I was getting paid $7 an hour to stock truffles, decorate caramel apples, mix milkshakes, and dip EVERYTHING in chocolate. There was a great perk of taking home any chocolate that fell on the ground (2 second rule?) or a caramel apple that was a little past selling to someone but perfectly fine to still eat.
Looking back on my experience there, it was in theory the perfect job for me. My hours were spent making confections but then also convincing people to buy sugar. It's what I do now, but without the $7 an hour. While working there, I learned how to really work with chocolate. Chocolate can burn, did you know that? It can burn really easily too. I loved making the chocolate covered strawberries. It was relaxing and getting that perfect drizzle was really satisfying. I discovered that I have a great wrist for chocolate drizzling!
I'm happy to say that I haven't lost my strawberry dipping skills. I've continued making them over the years. Last year when my family was out West visiting me, I forced them to go strawberry picking with me on a farm near Santa Cruz. It was beautiful and a little windy, and they had sweet strawberries and the most amazing scones. Check out Swanton Berry Farm if you want to go berry picking sometime! We took home an assload of strawberries and covered them in chocolate to treat ourselves to.
Alright, Valentine's Day is a day away. You have plenty of time to make these! This recipe uses only white chocolate, but you can easily swap in milk and/or dark chocolate. I added crushed up freeze dried raspberries to naturally color my white chocolate. It adds an extra berry and slightly tart flavor to the chocolate that I'm really into. Good luck and have a lovely love day!
Valentine's Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries
16 Oz White Chocolate
2 Tbsp Finely Crushed Freeze Dried Raspberries (crushed in mortar and pestle)
1/4 C Finely Crushed Graham Crackers (crushed in mortar and pestle) - Optional
Rinse and pat dry your strawberries.
Bring a small pot of water to boil OR for Microwave method see note at the bottom. Place chocolate in a bowl that is larger than the mouth of your pot. Once water is boiled, lower heat so that the water simmers. Place bowl of chocolate over the pot to create a double boiler. The chocolate will slowly melt from the hot steam. Use a rubber spatula to slowly mix the chocolate. Chocolate should be smooth and silky after 3-5 minutes. It is ready if the chocolate easily drizzles when you lift the rubber spatula in the air.
Divide the chocolate evenly between 2 small bowls. In one bowl mix in the freeze dried raspberries.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take a strawberry and grasp it by the leaves. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate. Shake off any excess chocolate, you want the chocolate to stop running off the strawberry. Place it on the sheet pan to cool and harden. If your chocolate starts to solidify in the process just pop it into the mircowave for 10 seconds.
Get creative with decorating! Dip the strawberries into the graham crackers immediately after the chocolate for a cheesecake style. Drizzle in alternating colors for a classic effect. Or do a double dip in each color (let the first layer harden first before the second dip).
Let cool and harden. Share with someone you love!
* If you are going to microwave your chocolate, microwave in 10 second increments and stir. It will seem like nothing is happening in the beginning but you just have to be patient. Chocolate needs to melt slowly to get the right shine and consistency. After about 60-90 seconds your chocolate should be ready. Be patient!