Easy chocolate covered strawberries recipe [vegan friendly, RECIPE]

I’m going to a 4th of July BBQ and I volunteered to make dessert. I asked if there were any dietary restrictions and my friend said it would be great if I could make something vegan-friendly. I said yes without thinking. But later I realized most of the stuff I make uses butter or eggs so I couldn’t use my go-to dessert recipes. But then I realized, dark chocolate is vegan – just read the label though because some name brands can skimp on the cocoa and add milk… more on that later.

chocolate dipped strawberries

The recipe doesn’t take a long time to make and it’s a great dessert for groups. You don’t need serving spoons or knives – just pick it up and eat! Best part, you just need 2 ingredients to make it:

  1. 12 oz. chocolate chips (semisweet chocolate) – read ingredients to make sure there aren’t any animal products in the chocolate
  2. 2 dozen medium sized strawberries

I admit I read every bag of chocolate chips in the baking aisle in the store. Interesting bit is that not all semisweet chocolate chips are made the same. The ones that were more inexpensive had some milk or dairy mixed in but the more pricier chocolate chips didn’t and I assume it’s because it had a higher cocoa content. I ended up going with Guittard real semisweet chocolate but the Ghirardelli all natural semisweet also works if you can find it in stock at your grocery store.

So you have your goods, now what?

  1. Wash your strawberries and dry thoroughly.
  2. Lay a clean sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  3. Get a pot and fill it with water halfway and put it on the stove with medium heat. Get a metal bowl and put it on top. I have a bowl that’s slightly bigger than the pot so it sits nicely on top and doesn’t sink into the water. Don’t use glass or plastic.
  4. Put the chocolate chips inside the bowl and get a wooden spoon to stir s the chocolate melts. Use a wooden spoon so it won’t scratch your bowl like metal or plastic spoons.
  5. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the stove and grab your strawberries.
  6. Dip your strawberries halfway and swirl in the chocolate. Lift up and let the excess chocolate drop off and place the strawberry on the parchment paper that’s on the cookie sheet. Once you’ve put it there, don’t move it around or you’ll have a chocolaty mess.

Once you’re done, let it cool outside for about 15 minutes then put it in the fridge for a couple hours. In less than 3 hours, from start to finish, you’ll have your chocolate covered strawberries for your party!

Baking seasonally: Martha Stewart’s Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies [RECIPE]

Cooking seasonally comes easy because there are so many great fresh vegetable recipes out there. But baking (more specifically cookies) can be a bit hard. Often times, recipes ask for dried fruit. Right now, strawberries are in season and I’ve been scouring my cook books and the web for a recipe that called for fresh strawberries – not as a cream or preserve for a cookie sandwich or dehydrated bits but actually integrating strawberries into the cookie.

I ended up finding this simple recipe by Martha Stewart for Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies that used fresh strawberries. I thought it would be perfect for a potluck I was going to. I bought some fresh local strawberries – pick a package with smaller strawberries because they tend to be sweeter than large strawberries.

I like this recipe because it doesn’t use unfamiliar ingredients. It’s everything you can find at your local grocery store and you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money. The ingredients:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice (squeeze from a real lemon – tastes better)
  • Course salt
  • Baking powder
  • Unsalted butter (COLD BUTTER!)
  • Heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

I actually didn’t use the sanding sugar because I’m trying to cut down excess sugar in my food and it still tasted good – actually, I think the extra sugar would have made it too sweet. Make sure your dough IS NOT  smooth – you want to make sure it’s crumbly and lumpy. They key to this recipe is to use cold butter, don’t leave it out. The reason is if the dough is too pasty it will be hard to mix in the strawberries. The crumbly mix will make it easier to fold in the strawberries – you don’t want to beat it in or it will get masked up. Spoon about a tablespoon on your parchment paper on the cookie sheet and form into a circle. When it’s all done it will look like this:

You know when it’s ready because the edges are slightly brown and the strawberries keep their shape. These cookies should be eaten in 24 hours because you don’t want the strawberries to dry out. I brought them to a potluck dinner and they were all eaten.

Can’t wait to make these again!

RECIPE: Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies