LUSCIOUS CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
about 2 dozen
These are marvelous anytime, but especially for Valentine's Day….plus they can be done at the last minute!!!
Wash and pat dry whole strawberries with absorbent paper. Remove stems and leaves; allow strawberries to stand for at least 30 minutes on absorbent paper. In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate pieces and oil. Heat over very hot (not boiling) water until chocolate is melted, blending with a wooden spoon until smooth. Insert the long wooden skewer into the stem end of each strawberry and then dip into the melted chocolate, liberally coating strawberries. Place chocolate-covered strawberries on wax paper; remove long skewer and repeat process with remaining strawberries. Allow chocolate-covered strawberries to stand, away from drafts for at least one hour or until set. Store in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate.
To serve, insert a short green wooden pick and a very small sprig of mint into the stem end of each chocolate-coated strawberry.
Note: Strawberries are perishable and should be eaten within 48 hours. Chocolate-dipped strawberries should not be refrigerated as the chocolate may turn an undesirable mottled color, although edible.
Variations: With a food injector syringe, inject each strawberry with a few drops of brandy or cream sherry or liqueur of choice before dipping in chocolate. While the chocolate on the strawberries is still soft, but not runny or firm, roll or dip the chocolate-covered strawberries in finely chopped nuts of choice, or coconut, or chocolate sprinkles, or miniature chocolate pieces/chips, or crushed peppermint candies. Allow chocolate coating to completely become firm before eating.