I know Valentine's Day isn't fun for everyone, (believe me, I really, really, do know this), but darn it all, the chocolate part is awesome. Who doesn't love chocolate dipped everything? These couple "recipes" are so easy to do you'll wonder why you ever paid for anything covered in chocolate and why you didn't just do it for yourself. This goes for the chocolate peanut butter candy, too.
I sent these off to Disney a long time ago, and I'm repeating them here because they're just too worthy of being shared. My youngest (who is now 11) loves helping make anything sweet. I suspect this is simply because she loves to consume anything sweet, but at this point in the parenting game, I'll take anything.
Once you've made up a batch of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, you'll be armed an ready to face your true love and they won't care if you don't have a diamond for them this year ... sorta.
20 or so large clean, dry strawberries with leaves intact
1/2 lb semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1. Place chocolate in the top of a double-boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir chocolate until melted, about 5 minutes.
2. Line a cookie sheet or tray with waxed paper or parchment paper.
3. Dip strawberries, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. These can also be dipped into nuts or sprinkles once they are coated in chocolate. Set on paper lined tray and chill for 20 minutes until set. Longer than an hour in the refrigerator will cause condensation on the strawberries, so be careful not to overdo it.
4. Place strawberries into a lined box or pretty mini-cupcake liners if you're giving as a gift.
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips
24 pretzel rods
sprinkles and nuts, (optional)
1. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at half power for one minute. Stir with a silicone spatula. Continue to microwave at intervals of 15-60 seconds until chocolate is completely melted. Stir until smooth.
2. Dip half of the pretzel stick into the chocolate. (If it starts to get thick, warm in the microwave for 8-10 seconds.)
3. Dip the coated end of the pretzel into sprinkles, nuts, tinted shredded coconut, or anything for extra color. Stand up in a glass or lay on a cookie sheet (prepared with cooking spray or lined with waxed paper) until set.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Makes one 8 x 8 pan
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Melt together peanut butter and butter and blend until smooth.
2. Add in graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Mix well and press evenly into an 8x8 baking pan that has been fitted with parchment or waxed paper.
3. Melt chocolate chips until smooth and pour over peanut butter mixture. Smooth over the top and refrigerate half an hour until firm.
4. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.