Shrunken Chocolate Strawberry Heads
A Freakishly Fun Addition to Your Halloween Table.
When it comes to fresh strawberries, we prefer locally grown produce that's small and sweet-tart, instead of the freakishly large specimens found in so many supermarkets -- fruits with little or no taste.
For Halloween, however, "freakishly large" can be a good thing, since these strawberries are about the same size as the shrunken heads "created" by headhunters.
And by dipping the strawberries in your favorite variety of melted milk or dark chocolate, you can MORE than compensate for their usual lack of flavor.
Fresh strawberries (roughly the size of plums)
Milk chocolate or dark chocolate
Toothpicks or popsicle sticks
Black or red licorice strings (cut into two- to three-inch pieces)
Frosting tubes (your choice of colors)
To make the Shrunken Heads:
Cut two- to three-inch strands of "hair" from red or black licorice strings, and place them on wax paper, so you can affix the "hair" to each "head" as soon as it's dipped in the chocolate.
First, twist off the stems from the strawberries.
Insert a toothpick or popsicle stick into the bottom (or "chin").
Slowly melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water or in a microwave set on high for two minutes, stirring halfway through the heating time to smooth it out. Remove from heat, and stir until chocolate is melted and warm, but not hot.
Using the toothpick or popsicle stick inserted into each strawberry, dunk each fruit in the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Roll the strawberries around in the chocolate, turning the stick so it's coated all the way to the top. Use a spoon, or a pastry brush, to baste any hard-to-get spots.
Before the chocolate cools, apply the "hair." If you encounter problems getting it to stick, apply extra chocolate using your spoon or pastry brush.
Set each shrunken head on a cookie sheet lined with the wax paper, and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
Then, using a frosting tube, apply frightening eyes, noses, ears and mouths to the heads of the "victims."
NOTE: You can make this recipe using small apples, but the diamond shape of most strawberries makes the finished product look more like realistic heads.