National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day

So, you like chocolate! Perhaps you have a particular preference for dark chocolate, semi-sweet, milk, or even white (which contains no chocolate at all). There is something decidedly decadent about dipping a bit of something into chocolate before letting it land on your tongue. Mmmmm.

This is nothing new. Long-standing chocolate-dipped items range from peanuts, peanut butter, and pretzels to strawberries, cherries, and blueberries. Other favorite fruits to dip include apricots, peaches, pears, raspberries, apple or pear wedges, grapes (fresh or dried), or kiwi slices. I can picture some of these quite nicely: chocolate-dipped caramel apples, melon chunks, or citrus peels. Citrus sections dipped in chocolate are popular from clementines and oranges to lemons and grapefruit. Try dipping dried apricots halfway in chocolate and then dip the chocolate end in chopped pistachios. Hello!

As in the photo, I became a fan of Stuffed Strawberry Blossoms years ago at a Manchester, NH restaurant called Spatts. They are Super Simple to make. Just slice whole berries ¾ of the way down and stuff with sweetened (or “spiked”) cream cheese. Then garnish each with a fresh blueberry and a bit of a mint leaf. (Once for my birthday, they served me an entire platter of these, rather than cake!)

Or pop some fresh pineapple spears or bananas on popsicle sticks, dip in chocolate and freeze. The same works for key lime pie wedges and slices of cheesecake. Dip a favorite popsicle and return it to the freezer… or just eat it.

The chocolate fountain carried these treasured treats to another level, bringing in platters of fresh fruits, bite-sized cake squares, and marshmallows. Shortbread cookies hit the classic side, with Oreos gaining in popularity. Other cookies worthy of dipping include gingerbread, animal crackers, sugar wafers, butter cookies, macaroons, graham crackers (think “smores), chocolate chip cookies, or even fortune cookies.

Thinking of sweet treats, consider dipping puff pastry twists, donuts, biscotti, and other pastry treats. While we’re at it, why not dip an entire cupcake… okay, a mini cupcake.

If you opt for the nuttier route, consider almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, or macadamia nuts. Make mini peanut butter sandwiches with mini pretzels or even Ritz crackers and dip half in chocolate, finished with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. (Ohhhh, I’m giggling over how much I like that one!)

Many folks like chocolate-dipped salty snacks like potato chips or sweet potato chips. Also dipped (and/or drizzled) are goodies like popcorn, edamame, crispy Bugles, Fritos, or Cheetos.

Prefer something distinctly different? Go for coffee beans… or go straight out to weird, be it good or gross, with squid, worms, ants, scorpions, bumble bees, or crickets. Okay… NOT.

While we’re stepping “off the ranch” so to speak, chocolate-dipped bacon is a treasure, as is or sprinkled with chopped nuts. Some folks also go for chocolate-covered Slim Jims or beef jerky. Have you heard of chocolate-covered pickles or olives? Well, that’s a “thing.”

Not my thing, but there’s also demand in some areas for chocolate-dipped mushrooms, seaweed, raw onions, jalapeños, carrots, radishes, and even broccoli florets. (Now that’s about the farthest “out there” approach I have ever heard to entice someone to eat their vegetables.)

Back to thinking about sweet treats, consider dipping mints, caramel chews, marshmallow peeps, jellybeans, gummy bears, or spice drops.

Before my teeth fall out from just talking about sweet treats, I will hush. With that, she closed with a mere whisper, “Chocolate!”

P.S. For easy dipping chocolate that will harden up, melt ¾ – 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips in a coconut oil-smeared microwave-safe bowl at 15-second increments for about 2 minutes, stirring between increments, until almost melted. Stir to finish the melting without adding extra heat. Dip your item and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Ta-da!

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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