Next time you think about making chocolate-covered strawberries, think again.
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Credit: Raymond Hom

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a delightful treat on Valentine's Day and all year long, but if you're ready to step up your dessert game, there's a whole world of dip-able foods out there to try. You might want to start slow, using with other fruit in place of that beloved red berry—while you'd be hard-pressed to find a fruit that doesn't taste good dipped in chocolate, cherries are definitely one worth trying. Their easy-to-handle bite size and handy stem make them naturals for dipping. And if you want to branch our beyond fruit? We have plenty of delicious ideas, too.

Chocolate-Dipped Dried Figs with Anise Seeds
Credit: Justin Walker

Consider Dried Fruits

Dried fruit is terrific when dipped in chocolate, too; we especially love how nicely chocolate complements chewy dried figs, as evidenced in our Chocolate-Dipped Dried Figs with Anise Seeds, above. They're an elegant dessert perfect for enjoying after dinner or wrapping up as a gift. Chocolate-crusted candied orange slices are another classic and so is candied orange peel; the combination of bitter and sweet is hard to beat.

Chocolate-Dipped Bear Paws
Credit: Lennart Weibull

Ready to Go Beyond Fruit?

Many simple cakes and cookies take wonderfully to a dip in chocolate. We recommend dipping anywhere from a quarter to a half of the treat in chocolate, so there's still at least half of the cookie or cake uncovered, which offers a nice contrast and makes the chocolate taste all the richer. A few to try: Bear Paws, like those shown above, which you can bake in madeleine pans. These almond, cinnamon and clove-flavored treats stand up beautifully to bittersweet chocolate. Another idea: shortbread hearts, straightforward and uncomplicated, and just plain delicious. If you're feeling fancy, on the other hand, may we suggest Cigarettes Russes? They're thin, tube-shaped cookies that are light and crisp. A swish in chocolate takes them to another level.

Chocolate-Dipped Breadstick
Credit: Raymond Hom

What About Salty?

Salty foods can also be great dipped in chocolate. One super-easy take: breadsticks. Buy the thinnest you can find, then spoon melted dark chocolate over 3/4 the length of them for a lovely tea-time treat, as seen here. And then, of course, there are pretzels. Rods dipped in smooth, semisweet chocolate are the ideal blend of salty and sweet, and the topping possibilities are endless.

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