Thursday, April 2, 2009
Our oldest son has announced his engagement to a wonderful girl that we all really like. She lives in another state, but she was down here this week, so we decided to celebrate with an engagement party! Our middle son had a beautiful cake made. A lot of family came, and everyone had a really good time, I think, especially the happy couple. The wedding is set for July.
One of the things we served was chocolate dipped strawberries. They are exorbitant to buy, but the strawberries are in season right now and particularly succulent, so we decided to try dipping them ourselves. First I tried a fudge icing that hardens in to a shell, and it seemed to work, but it got grainy, and then weepy, so that was out. All Recipes.com to the rescue! Sure enough, there is a super simple recipe that works spectacularly. (Was that alliterative enough?) All I did was melt 2 Tablespoons of shortening in the top of a double-boiler (over a thin layer of boiling water), and then add in 16 oz. of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips. (I'd previously rinsed the strawberries well and drained them in a colander. We poured them out on a clean towel and then hubby dried them with paper towels because apparently if they are too wet the chocolate can seize up). Anyhow, I gently stirred the chocolate until about half the chips were melted, then removed the double boiler from the heat, but leaving the bowl over the water, I stirred until the chocolate was melted and smooth. Then hubby and I began swirling strawberries about half-way up, and laying them on parchment paper lined trays. We put them in the fridge for a few hours and when we put them on a serving dish for the party, they were absolutely beautiful! The chocolate was smooth and thick.
There was a lot of chocolate left so we began dipping the ends of pretzel sticks and also laid them on parchment paper to harden, then put them upright in a dish. Really, you could coat anything you wanted to. Marshmallows, graham crackers, nuts, raisins, oreos... the possibilities are endless! The strawberries and pretzels were a huge hit and they really were very good.
We are really looking forward to the wedding. Congratulations, you two!