This post was sponsored by my friends at Driscoll’s. They were nice enough to provide product coupons and reimbursement for ingredients, and all opinions (as always!) are mine, all mine!
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today, not only because it involves strawberries (umm, WHAT blog are you reading again?) but because it involves the biggest, most perfect-for-dipping strawberries EVER from Driscoll’s and also chocolate and then some MINT chocolate (whoa! a twist!) and then some fun drizzling/lettering action that’ll make everyone think you’re a regular ol’ chocolatier.
When Driscoll’s asked me to create a twist on the traditional chocolate covered strawberry for Valentine’s Day, my first thought was “Yes! This blog is MADE for strawberries!” But I actually had a hard time coming up with the whole “twist on a classic” part. I think my problem is that I just love strawberries SO much I’m reluctant to do anything to them at all. Sure, I’ll make this amazing jam from time to time, and sure, I’ll dip them in chocolate. (Or in tequila). But 9 times out of 10 (okayyyyyyy, more like 9.99999 times out of 10) I just eat them. All of them. Plain. Right out of the container. Ahhh, bliss.
I toyed for a bit with putting something crazy in the chocolate (chili peppers? eh?), or rolling the berries in something (crushed up pretzels? rainbow explosion sprinkles?) after the chocolate-dipping had happened. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how much I love plain ol’ strawberries. And I didn’t want to mess with that. I wanted to highlight it. Especially since Driscoll’s was nice enough to provide these SUPER JUMBO long stem strawberries that were just begging to be scarfed down immediately.
Seriously. How perfect are these?
I decided to stick with the classic combo of chocolate and strawberries, but I added some mint chocolate (I’m OBSESSED with these mint chocolate chips) to the mix for a flavorful twist without messing with the classic chocolate-covered strawberry look. Chocolate script letters (which are SO easy to make! I’ll show you) add a festive Valentine’s Day look without the whole pink-and-glitter-and-unicorn-dust hoopla that generally surrounds Valentine’s Day recipes. I like to keep holiday recipes a bit understated, but add a subtle festive element to make it stand out. A touch of whimsy, if you will.
Kyle and I have never really been Valentine’s day people (in fact, we have an agreement to never ever celebrate Valentine’s day) but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy all the candy and chocolate-covered goodness that takes over the grocery stores every February! I even make the occasional Valentine’s Day-themed dessert (like these chocolate covered strawberries!) but I never understood why Valentine’s Day food always looks like Cupid puked a sparkly pink rainbow all over it. What happened to the understated, simple, “I-love-you-and-I-don’t-need-pink-glitter-to-say-it” kind of romance? (Too cynical? Like I said, I’m all about the understatement).
There’s something about the different textures of the chocolate here that I just find so lovely. The chocolate – even though we’re using two different flavors – is all the same color, but the layering makes sure that every piece still stands out. Aside from the letters, these berries look pretty ordinary – but once you bite into them, you get just a hint of mint (POETRY) that really takes these “ordinary” chocolate covered strawberries over the top.
But I promised I’d show you how to make these script letters! Ok, here’s the DL: print out this printable (or print your own word/font combo). Cover it with wax paper. Put whatever melted chocolate remains after you’ve dipped all your berries into a plastic bag and snip a tiny bit of the bag’s corner off to make a piping bag. Trace the letters with the piping bag, then let the letters cool on the wax paper until the chocolate is solid.
Gently peel the letters off of the wax paper and place them on the still-wet chocolate drizzle (it’s just like glue!) Let the rest of the chocolate set and pat yourself on the back for being so artsy. Pro tip: try not to touch the front of the chocolate letters, because you might leave a fingerprint that messes up the smooth face of the letter. Try to use one finger to pick up each letter by the back and gently place it on the strawberry. You can do it! I believe in you.
And ta-da! You’ve just choco-tized love and put it on a strawberry. Proceed to join me in a victory dance and then stuff yourself silly with these jumbo minty chocolate Valentine’s Day berry delights. [read more…]