The other night, I was casting about Pinterest for some cute Valentine’s Day treats and came across these adorable strawberry and chocolate ladybugs from Wing It Vegan. Hers are way cuter than mine, but I thought these turned out pretty well, anyway, especially for my first attempt!
I guess I could have waited for the second attempt to post this, but I wanted to share this with you in time for Valentine’s Day. The kids just loved these, and they were pretty easy to make (I omitted some of the steps in the original recipe, like putting them upside-down to dry, or putting pupils on the eyes, or flattening the dots on the body).
One strawberry makes one ladybug
- Whole, fresh strawberries, leaves intact
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips (or white cookie icing, which I used because I had some left over from the Oreo turkeys)
- Toothpicks, tape, and the “I heart you” sign printout from Wing It Vegan (optional)
- Disposable piping bag or ziploc bag
- Wax paper
Rinse strawberries and gently pat dry with paper towels or clean dishcloth. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Line a plate or cookie sheet with wax paper.
Pour some chocolate chips into a small microwave-safe bowl, then follow package instructions to melt (if the package doesn’t have melting instructions, then microwave at 30-second increments at 50% power, stirring after each time, until melted). Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, covering 1/4 of the berry. Set dipped berry aside on the plate or cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Set the plate of dipped berries into the refrigerator to help the chocolate harden more quickly. While the berries are in the fridge, spoon the rest of your melted chocolate into a ziploc bag or disposable icing bag. If you’re using a ziploc bag, seal the bag, then snip a corner of the bag. Place a sheet of wax paper on a plate or cutting board. Then, using the bag of melted chocolate, pipe pairs of antennae onto the wax paper. You can make straight lines or curly antennae — it’s up to you! As you can see, this took a little practice.
Place the plate or cutting board with the antennae sheet into the freezer. While the antennae are firming up, remove the plate of strawberries from the fridge. Using your bag of melted chocolate, pipe small dots over the parts of the strawberries that aren’t dipped in chocolate:
When you’re done with that, melt some white chocolate chips and put that into another icing bag or ziploc bag, again snipping a small corner of the bag (you only need a tiny amount of white chocolate). Or, go ahead and using cookie icing. Pipe eyes and a smile onto the dipped portion of each berry, creating a face:
Now comes the most cumbersome part of the exercise: attaching the antennae (you can skip the antennae altogether, and the berries would still be cute. I just thought they were SO adorable and wanted to at least try them!).
Remove the antennae sheet from the fridge. Pick up your bag of melted chocolate (semisweet, not white) again, and pipe a glob of chocolate above the eye area on one berry.
Gingerly peel one pair of antennae off of the wax paper. The antennae are fragile, but they came off surprisingly easily after being in the freezer for only about five minutes.
Working quickly (very quickly!), attach the antennae, one at a time, onto the glob of chocolate. Try to keep your adjustments of the antennae position to a minimum. The most I did was to push the antennae from behind once they were in the chocolate to get them to stand up more.
Repeat with all the berries. If you find the antennae are melting too quickly, use a pair of tweezers (CLEAN ONES that are reserved only for kitchen use! Please don’t use your eyebrow tweezers to pick up the chocolate antennae ;)) to handle them.
Now, if you want to, you can make the “I heart you” signs. Print them out from Wing It Vegan’s original recipe, cut them out, and simply tape a toothpick onto the back of each sign.
Stick the flags into each berry. Ta-da!
They’re cute in little cups, too.
I can just imagine setting them in little white cupcake liners, nestled in some green paper grass. How cute would that be?! I just might have to package some up like that to give out for Valentine’s Day!
The boys went absolutely agog over these. It was worth the effort to see the delight on their little faces.
I’ll have more Valentine’s Day treats in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, you can check out all of my Valentine’s Day-themed entries from last year by clicking here.