My family knows better than anyone that I go weak at the knees for chocolate. Come Easter time, I’m forever sneaking into my kids’ baskets to snatch a chocolate egg or nip an end off a bunny’s ear. But after a week or so I start to get twitchy about sugar overload in the house.
A handful of years ago I started a post-Easter tradition to address surplus chocolate that has become a beloved family ritual. After the kids have had their fill of miniature milk chocolate lambs and hollow bittersweet bunnies, we pile our collective haul into a double boiler. It all gets melted down and then paired with Spring’s best strawberries for a dipping extravaganza. With strawberry season coinciding perfectly with Easter, the timing couldn’t be better.
When I first proposed this crafty answer to chocolate excess I thought the kids might take offense to melting down their beloved bunnies. On the contrary, they seem to delight in watching the magic that happens when heat is applied to chocolate. It’s important to be sure the berries are thoroughly dried after washing so the chocolate adheres. I also recommend using organic berries if you can swing it.
Below are instructions for making chocolate covered strawberries. If you don’t have leftover bunnies, or don’t celebrate Easter, it’s worth scaring up some chocolate for this anyway. Chocolate dipped berries may be passé in gourmet circles, but in kid circles, they still rank pretty high. And as far as desserts go, it’s not all bad – a few nutrients, not a ton of calories, and antioxidants if you are opting for dark chocolate.
As for leftover Peeps, there is nothing remotely nutritious about them. But, you can tuck them away for summer’s first cookout. Speared onto a branch over an open fire, they are a pretty tasty alternative to garden variety marshmallows. Just be sure your little guys let them cool before popping them in their mouths.
CHOCOLATE BUNNY DIPPED BERRIES
- 8 ounces leftover Easter chocolate
- 1½ baskets fresh strawberries, washed and thoroughly dried
Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Fill the bottom pot of a double boiler one-third full of water. Bring to a gentle boil. Break chocolate up into 1-inch pieces and put in the top of a double boiler. Melt the chocolate, stirring from time-to-time until smooth.
Remove the double boiler from the heat. Hold each strawberry by its stem, dip it into the chocolate, and set it on the baking sheet to cool. You may need to reheat the chocolate if it starts hardens up.
Allow the chocolate-covered strawberries to cool completely.
These are best eaten within a day of when they are made. Store in the refrigerator.