If it’s Valentine’s Day or any other day, be sure to invite your sweethearts to help in the kitchen as you let your imagination run wild dipping all manner of goodies in rich, velvety dark chocolate. Dried and fresh fruits work great, but so do nuts, chips, crackers and cookies. Serves 8
2 (3.5-ounce) bars dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
Dried fruit, such as papaya, mango, pitted dates or sour cherries
Grapefruit, orange or tangerine segments (membranes intact)
1. Line a large sheet tray with parchment or wax paper.
2. In a small pot, heat chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until just melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
4. One at a time, dip pretzels and fruit into chocolate, shaking off any excess, and arrange in a single layer on the prepared tray. (For moist items, like fresh citrus, be sure to pat them dry before dipping.)
5. Set aside in a very cool spot to let harden, 2 to 3 hours, or chill until set, 20 to 30 minutes.
• When it comes time to dip, choose a smaller bowl as a deeper well of chocolate will help with even dipping.
• Dip dry ingredients like pretzels or dried fruit first, and then dip fresh fruit. This helps maintain the best dipping texture for the chocolate.
• Dip items just enough to cover the tip in chocolate or submerge them to completely enrobe in chocolate. Gently shaking off any excess chocolate after dipping helps to avoid a “foot” on the bottom of your treats.
• If the chocolate hardens too much while dipping, microwave it for 10-second intervals, stirring between each, or return to the small pot and gently reheat while stirring constantly to get a desired consistency.
Per Serving: 190 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 10mg sodium, 21g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber, 12g sugar).
Whole Foods Markets are located in Yonkers at One Ridge Hill, in White Plains at 100 Bloomingdale Road, in Port Chester at 575 Boston Post Road, and in Connecticut at 150 Ledge Road, Darien and 90 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich.