Luscious chocolate-dipped morsels are always a hit, as a gift or a take-along party treat. The dipping always goes faster, and is more fun, when more hands get involved. So, grab your aprons and dip right in.
For best results, choose a cool, dry day for dipping.
The amount of dippers you'll need, will depend on whether you coat the entire dipper or only part of it. With 8 ounces coating, you should end up with about 50 pieces of completely coated treats. The hardest part is choosing what to dip. Use your imagination to add to the list of ideas below:
Fresh Fruits: Strawberries, sliced carambola (star fruit), or pineapple wedges.
Canned Fruits: Pineapple chunks, mandarin orange sections, or maraschino cherries.
Dried Fruits: apricots, peaches, kiwifruit, candied pineapple, or clusters of dried cherries or berries.
Cookies: Shortbread, rolled cookies, soft macaroons, or meringues.
Nuts: Walnut halves, brazil nuts, or clusters of almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, peanuts, or pecans.
Miscellaneous: Pretzels or day-old pound cake cubes.
Drain fresh or canned fruit on paper towels, patting well with towels to dry.
In a heavy saucepan melt 8 ounces chocolate- or vanilla-flavored candy coating over low heat, stirring candy constantly. To make dipping easier and safer, pour the melted chocolate into a fondue pot and gather around the table to dip.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and set it on the table by the melted coating.
To partially cover the dipper, hold it by one end and dip a portion into the melted coating; drain off any excess. Place on the parchment or waxed paper. To completely cover dippers, drop one piece at a time into melted coating. Use a fork to remove each dipper, without piercing the center. Let any excess coating drip off. Place on the waxed paper. To make clusters of small dippers, such as nuts and berries, arrange in tiny paper candy cups and drizzle with chocolate to coat.
If the mixture becomes too thick during dipping, reheat the candy coating in a saucepan. Stir the coating constantly until it once again reaches dipping consistency.
Let the coated dippers dry, uncovered, on the parchment or waxed paper at room temperature. If you like, drizzle or dip the dried, coated dippers with additional coating of a different color. Serve coated fresh fruits the same day they are dipped.
Cover and store your dipped treasures, other than dipped fresh fruit, in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.