Spring & Chocolate Covered Strawberries!


It's finally spring! Okay fine I was in Mississippi all last week where it truly was spring, and back home it's a very sad excuse for that warmth and sun. But I its do snowing anymore (OKAY just for the moment)! And that's good enough for me. 


Strawberries dipped in chocolate are usually a Valentine's Day treat, or something you admire at the Godiva store as you pick up with your free monthly truffle (we all do it right?) but never actually cave in to. Well, this Easter we made these bad boys at home, and I have to tell you that not only are they ridiculously easy, but you can meet them in 15 minutes (with fridge chilling time of course - but that's time for you to get dressed/dance to Yoncé/have a glass of white wine; whatever floats your boat).


So next time you're making something for a family holiday and want the easy way out while looking like a hardo, or want to impress your friends, or just want decadence without paying a shitload at a store, whip this up!


Serves: ~20 as one of a series of desserts (about 4 as a serious dessert)


Total Time: 1 hour (15 minutes or less hands on)


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I went for Nestle)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or shortening, but why not feel great about yourself with this dessert?!)
  • 1 large pack/about 2 pounds strawberries


Instructions

  1. Carefully wash each strawberry and lay on a towel to dry - try to push leaves up as you wash and set on towel to prep them as holding points for chocolate dunking!
  2. About 15  minutes later, pat down any residual strawberry dampness with paper towels. Spread one sheet of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in chocolate chips and coconut oil. Set microwave to half heat and microwave in 30-40 second intervals, stirring in between. Basically nothing will happen after the first, but there should be some melting by the third and beautiful glossy chocolate by the last. Give it another 25 seconds if not! The coconut oil will Dave the chocolate from freezing down after it sits for awhile, so this or shortening is key.
  4. With your totally dry strawberries (or they'll mess up your chocolate!), hold by the top and roll at a 45° angle in chocolate until evenly coated. Lay on parchment paper in a pretty order and repeat until all are coated, making more chocolate mixture as necessary. This is where Lindt/Godiva store stalking comes in handy, otherwise you'll have to play around with the best chocolate-dipping technique. Go do some taste testing if you need to!
  5. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, then serve as is or arranged on a cute serving plate. Savor your excellence!
     

Chocolately Peanut Buttery Heaven! (Cookies)

Mondays are just the worst. I've yet to meet someone in person who actually enjoys them, just seen a few errant posts on social media in the past alerting me to the fact that they exist. At this point I am going to engage in a bit of self-congratulations that I've avoided becoming friends with any of them in real life thus far. Keep up the good work, me. Hope you can say the same! 

So while those weirdos already have something to celebrate in that it's already Monday again, here's a little something for the rest of us: sugary, salty, dense-yet-not-heavy peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. We'd been in the mood for some kind of peanut butter cookie in the last few weeks, and in the past they're the kind of treat that we've enjoyed either in othe humongous cookie form from a bakery or in those little buttery peanut butter cookies that come with a Hershey's kiss on top that family makes for parties. What do you call those? Something about kisses, right? Well, this cookie gives those bad boys a real one up, since it provides many of the same ingredients but in a more accessible format. The kisses version forces you to either go all in on one bite - where's the rest of the cookie after that? - or nibble on the chocolate as you eat the cookie around it. No more! Now every bite is full of these wunderkinds.

This recipe is my own version of a ton of other recipes I found - a gluten free peanut butter cookie google search came up with fairly similar recipe recommendations from Real Simple, the Food Network, Whole Foods, and a billion other sources. I read all of them then felt I was newly knowledgeable enough to risk messing everything up by doing things like changing the ratios of white-to-brown sugar, using mini chocolate chips, and adding cinnamon (I think cinnamon is a must for cookies, even if you don't notice it). With a nice cup of English Breakfast tea, two of these would be a great snack or filling dessert before bed.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8 (2 cookies each)

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (creamy is another gross word but it had to be said! No chunky pb)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (check that it's gluten free!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon - adjust to your taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or small pinch) sea salt
  • pinch of table salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips - use your best judgement here. I eyeballed the Nestle mini semi-sweet chips (with a mandatory toll of one handful straight to my mouth of course)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet (probably going to need 2 sheets) with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixing bowl if you have a stand mixer), add both sugars and peanut butter. Beat on high with a hand or stand mixer for 2-3  minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon and salts and blend together on low. Once all are sufficiently combined add chocolate chips until they look as chocolately and delicious as you'd pictured when you first read this recipe (you're imagining it now aren't you? Good) and mix just a little bit more on low to evenly distribute. Mini chips are key here, so you may want to think about roughly chopping any bigger chocolate you have on hand.
  4. Roll into cookies around one inch. Isn't it annoying when people say one or two inch cookies? Like, just tell me to palm it and see how it looks. You'll probably notice that this dough isn't as, well, doughy as other cookies you've work with. It's not dry, but it seems to be happiest in it's own little pieces, so use both hands to help it stick together as happy little balls. Add to the parchment paper using your discretion in terms of how far apart they should be (trust: major key to success).
  5. The recipes I'd read recommended trying the classic little cross-hatch pattern with a fork on the top. I tried it, but found to do it best I needed to sort of cup the cookies with one hand while lightly pressing in the fork with the other. Even then they liked to crumble off on their own, so you might want to skip this step.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even baking. When edges are starting to firm up pull 'em out and transfer the cookies on the parchment to a wire rack or cutting board.

 

Extra note: There's a little salt in these already, but I also made a few with a sprinkle of sea salt on top. If you're a salt-on-cookies kinda gal/lady/person it's definitely worth adding to at least some of your batch! Just make sure to label them for your friends that are on the sweeter end of the spectrum.

Bag these right up for later in the week or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days!