With Thanksgiving out of the way, it's time to unleash the Christmas frenzy! Let's kick off the festive season with a classic! I first shared these often imitated Strawberry Santa Hats back in 2008, and then I blogged about them again in 2009 when I temporarily moved to another blog (The Crafty Kook). Now it's time to bring them back for yet another encore appearance. This time, they are sitting pretty on top of semi-sweet chocolate circles. This post is dedicated to a lovely reader called Sarah Glasson, from Australia! Thank you Sarah for being so awesome! :)
This is a picture-heavy post, so I'll try to keep the text on the lighter side. To make the chocolate circles, all you need to do is spread melted chocolate chips on a piece of wax paper, refrigerate it until almost completely solid, and use a cookie cutter to cut out little chocolate circles. The circles should be about 1/2 inch bigger than the base of the strawberries. I made 12 circles, which took 5 ounces (140 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Now that that's done, let's move on to the fun part!
You will need your prepared chocolate circles, basic vanilla buttercream (3/4 cup of Earth Balance made enough buttercream for 12 strawberries), strawberries (washed, extremely dry, and stemmed), and something tasty to fill your strawberries. You don't need to fill the strawberries with anything, but it adds some extra deliciousness to them. Just remove a bit of the centers with a paring knife and fill them with whatever floats your boat. I used a chocolate hazelnut spread, but you can use chocolate ganache, or even more buttercream.
This is the chocolate hazelnut spread that I used:
This tasty treat was an early Christmas present! Thank you, Mr. Wing-It! :)
*2014 update: This hazelnut-chocolate spread is no longer vegan. BOOOOO!!! :(
Now that the strawberries are ready, use a pastry bag with a star decorating tip to squeeze out a bit of buttercream onto the center of each circle. This will be the glue that holds the strawberry to the chocolate while you decorate them.
Place a (dry, very dry!) strawberry on top of each dollop of buttercream:
Use the buttercream-filled pastry bag (or ziploc, or parchment paper cone) to decorate the bottom of the "hats":
It's time for the pompoms! Just use your bag to squeeze out a little buttercream on top of each strawberry. (Press down for a second and then pull up.)
We are done! Let's admire our handiwork!
There are at least two ways to eat these. My way involves eating the top first, and then delicately eating the base bite by bite. Mr. Wing-It's way involves popping the whole thing in his mouth all at once! How would you eat them? Are you team bite-by-bite or team just-pop-it-in-your-mouth? :D