If using strawberries, gently wash the berries and leave stems and hulls attached; pat completely dry with paper towels. If using maraschino cherries, drain and pat the cherries completely dry with paper towels. Set the fruit aside.
Melt the white baking bar with 1 tablespoon shortening in a heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly. Using a wooden skewer, dip half of each piece of fruit diagonally into the melted white baking bar. Allow excess to drip off, then place fruit on parchment or waxed paper, undipped side down. Let stand for 30 minutes or until dry.
Meanwhile combine the chocolate with 1 tablespoon shortening in a 4-cup glass measure or 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Pour very warm tap water (100 to 110 degrees F) into a large glass dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place the measure or bowl with the chocolate inside the dish. Water should cover the bottom half of the measure or bowl containing the chocolate. Adjust water level as necessary. (Don't splash any water into the chocolate.) Stir the chocolate mixture constantly with a rubber spatula until completely melted and smooth. This takes 15 to 20 minutes; don't rush. If the water begins to cool, remove the measure or bowl containing the chocolate. Discard the cool water and add warm water. Return the measure or bowl containing the chocolate to the dish containing water; resume stirring.
Dip the undipped half of each piece of fruit diagonally into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, then place the fruit on parchment or waxed paper, first dipped side down. Let stand for 30 minutes or until dry. Serve the fruit the same day it is dipped. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds or 24 servings.