Local Strawberries About to Arrive

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Local strawberries, those juicy, sweet harbingers of spring, will be arriving soon in area markets.

We already are starting to see berries from the southern U.S., which are the next best thing to those grown right here. One of my favorite special-occasion uses of these seasonal delights is the decadent chocolate-dipped strawberry. It is a dramatic, but oh-so-simple dessert. The trick is to make certain that the strawberries are completely dry before dipping — this ensures that the chocolate adheres to the berry.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries don’t keep — which makes them all the more decadent. You must consume them on the day they are made or the berries begin to break down, the juice sweats and seeps into the chocolate shell, and you kick yourself for not enjoying them at the peak of their perfection.

If pareve/kosher for Passover chocolate is used, this is a great dessert to end a festive seder.

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Makes 12 strawberries

1 dozen large, perfect strawberries

1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Parchment paper

Rinse strawberries, and set out to dry. If you don’t have time to allow them to air dry, use a hairdryer on the “cool” setting.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl for 3 minutes on 50 percent power. Stir just until smooth; do not overwork chocolate.

One by one, hold the berries by the stem and dip them, swirling in the bowl until thoroughly coated.

Place the berries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and either allow to harden at room temp (1 to 2 hours) or refrigerate to expedite the process (20 minutes.) Note, if your room is very warm (more than 68 degrees, use the fridge.) Bring to room temperature before serving.

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