I love to make chocolate covered strawberries -- a really fun activity for seniors - and with kids too. You'll see from this page I've gone a bit crazy for them.
I'll show lots of colorful decorating ideas below too. Chocolate dipped strawberries do involve being able to work and handle smaller pieces, or have additional help.
(NOTE -- get lots more different dipping ideas!
Be sure to also check out our page on Super Easy Dipping Chocolate -- it's very versatile and makes many fun and yummy projects you can eat! Try them in colors, as on this page. Learn how to make different kinds, use them on different food items, including giant pretzels. Plus more decorating and gift ideas.)
Easy Dipping Method
By far, the easiest way to do chocolate strawberries is by using the ready-made microwavable dipping chocolate.
You will need:
* A tub (or two) of microwavable dipping chocolate, either dark or milk chocolate -- OR --
* A cup or more of white chocolate morsels, or regular chocolate chips.
* As many strawberries as you would like – one tub of dipping chocolate will cover about 15 to 18 medium sized strawberries.
* Wax paper.
* Fork (optional).
* Large spoon (optional).
(I sometimes make just a couple chocolate strawberries at a time. Then I just use a handful of chocolate chips in a dish).
When you make chocolate covered strawberries, cover a plate or platter with wax paper, and set it aside. Wash the strawberries thoroughly, and pat dry -- this is very important when dipping fruit in chocolate. Moisture will make the chocolate glob or slide.
You might keep the leaves on if you're not doing anything too fancy, as
they can provide a means to grip the berry while dipping. Otherwise, I like to insert a fork (see method below).
Melting the Chocolate
Important -- Melt the chocolate according to directions. When I make chocolate covered strawberries, I start out with 30 seconds in the microwave, take it out and stir, heat for 15 seconds, stir again, and repeat heating and stirring until it’s all melted.
This is important to keep the chocolate from burning. In fact, it's best to have a few lumps in the chocolate and take the container out a little early, letting the rest melt on its own. Then cool slightly.
If you overcook the chocolate and it gets stiff
and thick, it is difficult to restore it. It sometimes works to stir in
a couple drops of vegetable oil, if you do overcook it, depending on
how "far gone" it is.
When you make chocolate covered strawberries, you need to hold the berry by something -- a fork or its leaves.
I prefer to stick a small fork in the leaf end of the berry. I've tried several ways, and this works best for me.
Scoop up a blob of chocolate in the large spoon. With the fork, twirl the berry around in the chocolate.
You can also use a CLEAN finger, back of a small spoon, or popsickle type craft stick to help smoothen out the frosting, if desired.
Place the strawberries on the wax papered platter. If you don't want a flat backside by laying them down, then stand them up instead.
If they don't stand, simply slice a little bit off the bottom of the strawberries. (Easiest to do before dipping).
also add sprinkles, coconut, etc. while the chocolate is still soft. If you are going to attach candies (i.e., on the tops), you can use your colored chocolate as "glue," and it will blend in.
When done, put them into the fridge so the chocolate will harden – at
least 10 to 15 minutes. Remove just before serving. They can be transferred to a
nicer serving platter without wax paper, if you'd like.
Make chocolate covered strawberries in colors! For this, you use white chocolate chips and food coloring. Or, if you're doing lots of one color, especially during a holiday, you can get colored chocolate morsels by the bag (i.e., green, pink, yellow, red). Or get them online.
(See these in a full centerpiece bouquet at Bouquet Strawberry Desserts). (Below is another sample on that page of how we turned them into flowers).
Melt the chips in the microwave as discussed above. Have several small dishes or bowls ready.
When melted, spoon some white chocolate into a bowl. Add one drop of food coloring and stir. If you want a swirly look, only stir it a little bit. Follow the directions, above, about dipping.
After you make chocolate covered strawberries, you can turn them into cute things. See how to make these further below.
Tips - For Decorating
Here are some special tips when you make chocolate covered strawberries...
I use either squirt icing in tubes as "glue"; or more of the
dipping chocolate that I just made - while it's still warm. You can apply with a toothpick or short kabob skewer.
Some decorating may be done before the coated strawberry cools off and sets too much. Since the "glue" is the same color, it blends in. You might also attach pieces with a half of a toothpick when necessary.
You can also decorate after the frosting has set and hardened. But that means by then your colored frosting left over in the bowl will be hard as a rock too, and no good. No problem. Just use tube icing as glue, (although it won't be the same color). Remove excess with a toothpick.
I also use the icing (or ready-made frosting in a tub) as paint. The icing comes in all different colors...
Barely dampen a pointed brush, and make sure you remove excess water with a paper towel. If the brush is too wet, the painting won't work. Then just make little dots for eyes, and lines for mouths. You may have to do 2 coats.
White Chocolate Mouse
Dip the strawberries as mentioned above. Sit the chocolate berry on a piece of wax paper on a plate. After you make chocolate covered strawberries, press on the candy nose while the chocolate is still soft.
Use a little more warm chocolate as glue to attach other parts - cut pieces of marshmallow for the paws, and slices of marshmallow for the ears. I had some pink icing that I painted onto the ears as well. Use lots of chocolate to attach the ears, and remove excess with a moist toothpick. You could also use half a toothpick to attach the ears into the strawberry instead. Or both.
I used a thin strip of string cheese for the tail. Instead of trying to attach it, you could also just lay the tail under the back of the strawberry.
Put the mouse into the fridge to set (at least 10 minutes) when you make chocolate covered strawberries. Then you can paint on the eyes with a small brush and a bit of dark chocolate in a dish, or black icing in a tube (as described above in Tips). Using mice in crafts is really popular, so see what else we have on our mouse crafts page.
A bunny is particularly whimsical at Easter and spring. Cut a slice off the leaf side of the berry so it will stand, then dip in white chocolate. Put it on a plate with wax paper. While the chocolate is still soft, press in a candy nose.
Cut a marshmallow into 2 tall narrow (thick) pieces for ears, then paint them with pink frosting if desired (or use diluted red food coloring).
The ears were attached with lots of extra melted white chocolate. (If it has hardened, use icing in a tube as glue). You can also attach them into the head with toothpick halves. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.
Then paint on the eyes and mouth with a small pointed brush, and a bit of black tube icing in a dish, or chocolate. (See decorating Tips above to make chocolate covered strawberries like these). Remove any excess with a moist toothpick or Q-tip.
(If you want to make a Frog Prince, make a small foil or paper crown for his head).
This guy was done with white chocolate tinted with green food coloring. Cut a slice off of the leaf end of the berry, so he'll stand up. To make the mouth area stick out like a frogs, I just did the twirling method of dipping as described above, and it makes natural ridges. Place the dipped strawberry upright on a plate covered with wax paper.
While the chocolate is still warm, press in the eyes. I had green nonpareil morsels, with a bit of chocolate tube icing as the eye centers, applied with a toothpick. You could also just use white chips, with a dab of your green chocolate in the centers.
The legs are fruit leather, a.k.a. fruit roll-ups. I refrigerated the roll-ups first to make them nice and stiff. Cut a strip of green, and then cut it in half so you have 2 legs. I also cut triangular slits on bottom edges of the strips, as toes. Bend the strips as shown. Attach with more of the still-soft green chocolate.
Put him in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, as usual when you make chocolate covered strawberries. Then put a little chocolate icing in a dish. With a small pointed brush, paint on the eyes, nose, and mouth. Use a moist toothpick or even a moist Q-tip, to remove any excess.
This little bird was first made as described above, melting white chocolate chips, then tinting it with blue food coloring. I used more of the blue frosting as glue.
As you can see, it's very simple -- cilantro leaves (or any other kind) for wings, another larger green for the tail, 2 sliced almonds for the beak (cut a slit into the mouth area while the frosting is still warm), and strawberry triangles for the feet. The eyes were painted on with a pointed brush and the black squirt icing (or use chocolate), as shown further above. That's it!
Duck or Chick
The chick was made the same way with white chocolate tinted with yellow food coloring. I cut a slice off the leaf side of the berry so it could stand. Dip the berry, and stand it on a plate with wax paper.
Make a generous slit for the beak before the frosting hardens. The wings, beak and feet are simply slices of cheese, "glued" on with more yellow chocolate while it's still soft, before refrigerating.
When the body parts are attached, put in fridge for at least 10 minutes. Then remove to do the eyes. Eyes were painted on with black icing (or chocolate), as mentioned above.
Make chocolate covered strawberries for season and holidays too - like spring and Easter.
Mouse - Dark Chocolate
This one is easy too. It sits on its side, so when you put it on the wax paper to harden, set it the way you want it. Then it will stand better, because it flattens out on its bottom side.
While the chocolate is still soft, press in the candy nose and eyes. Flat chocolate candies were cut in half as ears. You may need to use quite a bit of extra chocolate to attach them. Remove excess with a moist toothpick. You could also use chocolate icing in a tub as glue.
Small candies are eyes and nose, and I cut a thin length of red rope licorice for the tail. Either attach it with frosting, or just lay it underneath the back of the mouse.
Holiday Chocolate Strawberries
Spring/Easter -- You can make chocolate covered strawberries for just about every holiday. The bluebird from above was incorporated into this little Easter egg set up.
The yellow chick or white bunny could have been used as well. You can make them in any color as well.
Also try this pink bunny with strawberry ears and candy nose. It would be made in a similar way as the other chocolate berries.
Summer -- Below is a sunny sunflower type design, making a yellow flower shape and sliding it onto a kabob skewer below the strawberry (which could have also had yellow tinted chocolate).
For Christmas -- You can make chocolate covered strawberries into little Santa or elf faces by adding candy eyes and a mouth. (On this one I actually "glues" on googly eyes, to be taken off before eating!) For hats like this large nonpareil drop, use a little extra chocolate sauce like “glue” to attach them.
The green leaf part is the top of the head, and the leaf looks a little like “hair” (or you can remove it as well) on which you put the hat.
Hat items can include a dried apricot slice, a large
chocolate drop candy, pastel mint, etc. Buy candy pieces in the bulk
food section, so you can get just a few at a time – you don’t need a
whole bag of one type of candy for this project.
Valentine's Day -- A mouse would be cute in pink for Valentine's Day. A pink bunny with strawberry ears would also be amusing. Make some of the bouquet style in pink, as shown above.
If you could make chocolate covered strawberry mice for every season and holiday by switching out the colors of the dipping chocolate and the candies -- in orange, it would look really cute for Halloween. Or green with a red nose for Christmas.
Patriotic -- How about doing a patriotic theme in white chocolate with red or blue sprinkles, and a blueberry or blue candy topper.
There are lots of patriotic commemorations throughout the year to use them for, not just July 4th.
(See our page at Fun 4th of July Crafts for more patriotic-themed projects).
Halloween -- A cute orange pumpkin is quite easy to make as shown here.
When dipping the berry into the chocolate, I let it stream downward so it sort of looks like pumpkin grooves.
The face is painted on in chocolate frosting, as discussed above. And the stem is a small green nonpareil morsel.
St. Patrick's Day -- Our collection just wouldn't be complete without a leprechaun. I give the instructions on how to make him on our March Senior Activities page. As you can see, he's green dipping chocolate with an orange frosting beard.
When you make chocolate covered strawberries, it’s important to keep the strawberries refrigerated until serving, or the chocolate gets too soft, and the strawberries can get soggy if left out for too long. They will last for a few days, actually, but then the strawberries begin to get soft and mushy, even being kept in the fridge.
If you have a platter full, it is ideal to set your serving platter on a pan or serving tray filled with ice cubes, to keep them cold.
Also, I tend to leave the leaves on the strawberries, because it makes them easier to pick up and eat, if you’re using them as finger-food desserts. If they’re being used as part of a salad or another dessert, it’s then optional to remove the leaves, depending on the look you want.
Once you get going, you'll come up with all kinds of ideas of your own to make chocolate covered strawberries!
Be sure to also read:
-- A clay-like sweet dough that you can mold into shapes,
fruit and characters. Fun with kids too.
Delicious Healthy Dessert Recipes -- Our healthy dessert recipes are natural, delicious and fresh. Lots of ways to modify, including for low salt or sugar needs.
Senior Activities - By the Month -- Get loads of activities for each of the 12 months, plus more for each of the 4 seasons. This Master page will show you.