Dipped Strawberries

Ahhh...those wonderful strawberries. Who can resist? When served alone they are still great, but add some chocolate and then you get the oohhhhs and ahhhhs... Add a little wine and you have truly brought it up a notch!!! LOL! This post is all about the wonderful way you can create beautiful strawberry treats. I follow many gals on Pinterest and I have added one video that I especially love. She goes through the process start to finish. Again, who doesn't love those great big juicy strawberries with a hard shell of chocolate! Yummyyyyyy!

Mason Jar Storage for Strawberries
Before we start I thought it would nice to give people a good way of storing strawberries.  I went to the people I consider the best at this...that would be the "Taste of Home" people.  They tried several methods, but they felt this method was the best. This is good information for strawberry storage. There's nothing worse than mushy strawberries.
how to store strawberries Toh.store Strawberries.mason Jar Before After.nancy Mock

NANCY MOCK FOR TASTE OF HOME

About This Method: Fresh, whole strawberries are sealed inside glass mason jars with metal lids and bands, then refrigerated.

How To Do It: Check through your strawberries to remove any that have mushy spots or mold. Place your unwashed strawberries in a glass mason jar, and stack them loosely so that they aren’t squishing each other. Tightly fasten the metal lid and band on the jar, then put it in the fridge.

Did It Work? Yes! This is our favorite of the six methods. If you don’t see any difference between the before and after photos of this method, it’s not a trick. After seven days the strawberries looked as fresh as they did on day one, with plump, firm fruit and fresh leaves. It was so satisfying to find the strawberries looked and tasted this perfect after a week in the fridge.

The Verdict: We love it!

No air can get into the sealed mason jars, and this seems to hold off the decay of the strawberries. There’s just enough natural moisture in the fruit that the berries stay firm and the leaves stay vibrant. When we opened the jar it made the same pssshh! noise that you hear when opening a soda: that’s the ethylene gas produced by the strawberries escaping. It’s important that the strawberries go into the jar unwashed, and that any iffy berries are removed so they don’t affect the rest.

Things to Remember When Storing Strawberries

No matter which storage method you decide to try, there are a few rules about storing fresh strawberries to know. All of these tips will help your berries stay fresher and better looking for a longer time.

Sort the berries

Just as one bad apple can spoil the bunch, one moldy or deteriorating strawberry will cause the rest of the berries to spoil faster, too. Check boxes of strawberries carefully at the store before you buy them. When you get your strawberries home, sort through them and remove any that have mold or look mushy.

Leave the stem and leaves on

Hulling the strawberries, or even just tearing off the leaves and stems, exposes the flesh of the fruit to air and bacteria, which will cause them to rot quickly. It’s best to leave strawberries whole with leaves and stems intact until you’re ready to use them.

Wait to wash them

It’s a good idea to wash berries, but wait to do this until just before you’re ready to use them. Strawberries absorb water quickly and once the surfaces are saturated they will quickly turn to mush or get moldy.

There are some recipes like chocolate covered strawberries, where you’ll want use the whole berries after washing. For these times, rinse the berries quickly in cold water, and handle them very gently. Then, spread them out on a tray lined with a clean dish towel to air dry. Turn them occasionally, so they can dry on all sides and around the leaves. Once they’re completely dry to the touch, use them right away.

Store in the refrigerator

Unless you’re planning to eat or use your fresh strawberries within a day of bringing them home, the refrigerator is the best place to store them. (And you can choose which method to try!) The cold temperature will slow down the spoiling process so you’ll have your berries for longer.

Prep for dipping strawberries

The one secret about dipping strawberries is to make sure they are really, really dry. Strawberries tend to soak in any moisture on the surface and then before you know it, they are mushy. So wash them good and set them on a towel to dry before you place them in the frig. If you are going to dip them right away, just make sure they are completely dry. I would dry each one individually and then leave them on a dry towel for a few hours to make sure there is not one bit of moisture on them.

Here is a video of one of my favorite gals on Pinterest...Natasha's Kitchen. She does a great job in explaining the process of dipping strawberries. There are a few tips that were not given in the recipe  that might help you out.
 

Now that you have those beautiful dipped strawberries made, it's time to share with the ones you love. Of course, you can purchase a tray for them at the Dollar Tree or you can box them up in bakery boxes which can be purchased at Walmart or other bakery supply companies. 
Dipped Strawberries
Ingredients:
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries with stems
  • 1-2/3 cups vanilla or white chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening, divided 
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
***Note: I prefer using "Paramount Crystals" instead of shortening. You can find them on Amazon. These don't goo up the melting wafers.

Directions:
  1. Wash strawberries and gently pat until completely dry. Make sure all water is wiped off. I would let them dry on a towel for at least an hour to make sure all moisture is gone. Leave the stems on. It makes them look even prettier.
  2. In a microwave, melt vanilla chips or chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 1 minute; stir. 
  3. Microwave for additional 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. (many people add some shortening to thin out chocolate. Chocolate and vanilla chips will melt to a very useable coating. Other colors need a little help with thinning. I purchased "Paramount Crystals" for this purpose. It doesn't lose its shine and the chocolate stays on the berries better. I purchased the Paramount Crystals on Amazon. They truly are the way to go when working with chocolate wafers.
  4. Dip each strawberry until two-thirds of the berry is coated, allowing the excess to drip off. 
  5. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
  6. Melt chocolate wafers the same way at the white wafers. Once again you most likely will not need to thin the chocolate out. But if you choose to, I would add Paramount Crystals rather than shortening. Stir until smooth. It takes a little while to get the right consistency, but it's worth the wait.
  7. Dip each strawberry until one-third is coated, allowing the excess to drip off. 
  8. Return to baking sheet; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
The above are just a few more ideas for decorating strawberries. They look so delicious and are so easy to decorate.

If you would rather just purchase your strawberries completely decorated, there are several websites that make the most beautiful decorated strawberries... The strawberries below are a product of "A Gift Inside". They are not only beautiful, they are delicious. Purchasing them decorated is a little costly, but for a special occasion, and/or you don't have any time to make them, this is a great alternative.


One Final Thought...   
I do hope you enjoyed this post on "dipped strawberries". What a nice gift for someone, or a great treat for a party you might be planning...

Always remember..."Life's short, eat dessert first!"...words to live by!