Everyone takes a dish to the party. Some people have their specialties — one of the guys makes a tasty pepperoni stuffed bread — but I tend to make something different each year. Last year I took these cutesy strawberries dipped to look like footballs. They were a bit fussy to make, but I enjoy doing this kind of thing. Here’s how I made them.
Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Footballs
Fresh strawberries, green leaves still attached
A bit of Crisco shortening (oil will do if you don’t have Crisco)
A few white candy making wafers
Wash your strawberries and dry them off with paper towels. They must be dry for the chocolate coating to stick well.
Melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave with a bit of shortening. (The shortening makes the coating easier to work with. I use a couple of teaspoons for a bowl of chocolate wafers.) Melt the chocolate 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30-second interval.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Holding onto the green leaves, dip the strawberries in the chocolate, leaving a bit of red strawberry showing near the leaves. Lightly scrape one side of the strawberry against the side of the bowl — the scraped side will be the bottom when you put the strawberries on the wax paper. This will keep the chocolate from pooling on the wax paper. Once you’ve dipped all of your strawberries, put them in the fridge until they are dry to the touch.
Melt your white candy making wafers with a bit of shortening as above. You won’t need much of the white.
Pipe the white laces as shown in the picture. The easiest way to do this is to use a small squeeze bottle that you find in the candy making supplies. If you don’t have one, just put the melted mixture in a plastic baggie and snip off a little corner. I found it easiest to pipe the vertical lines and pop the strawberries in the fridge for a few minutes until it dried before piping the shorter horizontal lines. (If the chocolate mixture gets too thick or hardens during this process, you can remelt it in the microwave.)
You can make these a few hours in advance, but it’s best to serve them the day they are made.
The pretty purple building on Five Mile Line Road is a great place to go to with the girls, because it serves things like quiche and chicken salad on croissant -- not to mention wonderful desserts.
Much to my dismay, when we arrived we saw that Elegant Expressions has closed. A sweetly worded note hung on the window.
"I would like to thank everyone for all of your support over the years," it said. "I tried my best to run Elegant Expressions without Sue. I gave it my best shot and now it is time to close."
The answering machine message says that the bakery is up for sale.