Want to wow friends and family with delicious, nutritious homemade treats this holiday season? Fresh or dried chocolate-covered fruit is simple to prepare and sure to impress. You can even sweeten the pot by dipping other favorites, such as pretzel rods, sandwich cookies and marshmallows, into the chocolaty goodness!
Ready to give this deceptively easy DIY holiday gift a go? Here’s how!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Chocolate-Dipped Desserts
- 2 cups white, milk or dark chocolate chips, (wafers or chopped chocolate)
- 1 Tbsp. shortening
- Chopped nuts
- Crushed peppermint candies
- Edible flowers
- Fresh strawberries, cherries, grapes, kiwi and pineapple wedges
- Dried apricots
- Dried mango
- Dried pineapple rings
- Dried papaya
- Sandwich cookies
- Pretzel rods
- Potato chips
- Paper bags, (cellophane or gift boxes)
- Decorative ribbon
In saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and shortening, stirring until smooth. Or, place shortening and chocolate in microwave-safe bowl and heat at medium (50%) for 60 to 90 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Tip: You can also melt a second type of chocolate for drizzling!
- Let mixture cool slightly. Dip fruit and other items approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into it, shaking gently to dislodge any excess chocolate.
- Carefully lay items on baking sheet covered with wax or parchment paper. Use spoon or piping bag to gently drizzle the items with a second type of chocolate, if desired, and add any embellishments while the chocolate is still warm.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
- Prep: Before you begin, be sure to wash and dry all fresh fruit thoroughly. Excess water can cause the chocolate to seize, and you’ll be left with a grainy mess!
- Storage: Chocolate-covered fruits typically look and taste their very best on the day that they are dipped. So, be sure to take this into consideration when gifting them. Foods such as pretzels and sandwich cookies may hold up a little better over time. If you aren’t immediately gifting your homemade goodies, chocolate-covered fruits can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, although ideally, they should be enjoyed within 48 hours. To help eliminate excess moisture, it’s best to line the bottom of the container with a clean paper towel. Let your friends and family know that your thoughtful treats can also be frozen in a plastic freezer bag or container for up to three months.
- Packaging: When it comes to holiday gifts, presentation is important. So, place your fruit, pretzel rods, sandwich cookies and other chocolate-laden foods in a decorative holiday tin. Or, you can put them in clear or holiday-themed cellophane or paper bags tied with festive ribbon. Be sure to include a handmade gift tag to further impress your recipients!
- Dare to dip? Stock up on these tasty and colorful ingredients at Vitacost.com!