What could be sweeter than a tray filled with White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Panda and Polar Bears for Valentine’s Day? Let me show you how to make perfectly dipped chocolate strawberries then decorate them using modeling chocolate to look like adorable bears.
Did you see the White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Unicorns that I posted recently? They were so much fun to make that I just had to design more decorated strawberries.
I played around for an afternoon and made so many different animals then I shared pictures of the strawberry animals with my friends and had them choose their favorite designs.
The panda and polar bears were equally as popular as the unicorns so I thought I’d share them with you. These sweet little desserts would make great gifts or treats for Valentine’s Day, a baby shower, a birthday party, or any day.
Last year I created some cute Milk Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Teddy Bears and they were a big hit so I’m hoping you like these white chocolate strawberry bears too.
The furry looking milk chocolate bears were decorated using royal icing eyes and M&M’s. They were simple to make and looked really cute but I have to be honest that I really didn’t enjoy crunching into the candies while eating my chocolate dipped strawberry.
So when I decided to make these strawberry polar and panda bears I chose to use 2-ingredient modeling chocolate to make my decorations because it melts in your mouth! Now when you bite into one of these strawberries you just taste white chocolate and a fresh, juice, berry.
Watch this video to see how to make and decorate these White Chocolate Strawberry Panda and Polar Bears. Oh, and you’ll see the milk chocolate strawberry teddy bears at the end of the video too.
Strawberry Panda and Polar Bear Video
White Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Panda and Polar Bears
Dip strawberries in white chocolate.
- Dip a clean, dry, room temperature strawberry into melted white chocolate.
- Allow the excess to drip off then set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Allow the chocolate to puddle around the bottom of the strawberry then lift up the strawberry and move it to another spot on the paper if you don’t want the foot (the dried puddle) on the dipped strawberry.
- If using pure white chocolate, allow the white chocolate to harden at room temperature. If using confectionery coating pop the strawberries into the refrigerator to chill for 3-5 minutes just until the candy hardens. (see below for details)
- I find it best to wet some paper towels with water then use that damp paper towel to wipe off the strawberries.
- If you wash the berries in running water, you must thoroughly dry them before dipping.
- Your strawberries must also be at room temperature before dipping. If you dip cold strawberries the chocolate shell will most likely crack.
- Once the chocolate hardens you can brush some chocolate on the underside of the berry. This will keep the strawberries from seeping juice.
How to make the strawberry bears look furry?
- Dip a strawberry in white chocolate then allow that thin layer of chocolate to dry.
- Dunk the berry into the white chocolate a second time then press a fork up against the wet chocolate and quickly pull away allowing the chocolate to form spikes.
- Keep going around the strawberry pressing and pulling the fork.
- As the white chocolate dries the spikes of fur will hold.
Watch the video to see this in action!
What type of white chocolate should I use?
You can use melted and tempered pure white chocolate or melted white confectionery coating. I’ve shared detailed information regarding the differences between the two on my Chocolate Making Tips page but here’s a short recap.
- Pure White Chocolate
- Pure white chocolate made with cocoa butter has a wonderful flavor and creamy texture and tastes amazing as a coating for fresh strawberries.
- You can buy bars, blocks, chips or wafers (also called callets).
- Pure white chocolate will need to be melted then tempered in order for the white chocolate to set hard and be free of any fat or sugar bloom (white streaks or spots).
- Callebaut and Lindt make really nice white chocolate.
Simple Chocolate Tempering Method:
- Chop 3/4 of your white chocolate into really fine pieces if using bars or blocks.
- Heat the chopped white chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for 15 second increments, stirring after each, and allowing the chocolate to rest for a minute, then stirring again.
- Heat until about 75% of the white chocolate is melted.
- Remove and continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted.
- Check the temperature of the chocolate.
- If it hasn’t gone above 88-89 degrees Fahrenheit then your chocolate will still be in temper and it’s ready to use and you can skip the rest of these steps.
- If it has gone over 88-89 degrees, then you’ll need to continue to heat the chocolate until the temperature reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then stir in the remaining chunk of white chocolate and stir continuously until the chocolate cools to 88 degrees F.
- Remove the chocolate chunk and test the temper of the chocolate by dipping the tip of a knife into the melted chocolate and setting it on your counter. If the chocolate hardens within a few minutes and is shiny the chocolate is tempered and ready to work with.
- If needed you can return the chocolate to the microwave and heat at 50% power for 5 seconds to keep it warm.
- If you simply melt pure white chocolate and use it to coat your strawberries the white chocolate will either not set up hard and your strawberries will have a soft shell or the white chocolate will set hard but the cocoa butter will bloom later causing streaks and spots.
- Tempering chocolate takes practice and keeping chocolate in temper while you are working can be challenging. so there is an alternative. You can dip your strawberries in white confectionery coating instead.
White Confectionery Coating (also known as White Candy Melts, White Melting Candy, or White Almond Bark)
- All of these items are similar to white chocolate but are made using vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter.
- If you like the flavor of the candy straight out of the package then you will also enjoy it as a coating on a strawberry.
- I actually prefer the flavor of some white confectionery coating to pure white chocolate and it’s so much easier to work with being it doesn’t require tempering.
- I usually use Peter’s IceCaps for my candy making but for this project I chose to use Nestle Premier White Morsels (which are a confectionery coating) as they are easy to melt, have a nice white chocolate flavor, and are available in the grocery store.
- You can also use Merckens, Girardelli, or Wilton’s Candy Melts.
You can find white chocolate and white confectionery coating on amazon (commission earned for sales at no extra cost to you)
How to melt confectionery coating?
- Pour 16 ounces candy melts wafers into a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on high power for 30 second increments, stirring after each, until about 75% melted.
- Then let the candy rest for 3 minutes before stirring until melted.
- It’s best to allow the residual heat of the melted candy to melt the remaining wafers so that the candy does not get too hot.
- Do not dip your strawberries in really hot confectionery coating or you will essentially cook the outer edge of the berry. Allow the coating to cool so that it not longer feels hot the the touch.
- When you are shopping for white chocolate and you choose to use chips be sure to look at the ingredients. If cocoa butter is listed in the ingredients then the chocolate will need to be tempered.
How to decorate white chocolate dipped strawberry bears.
Make modeling chocolate.
You can see a very detailed tutorial and instructions on my How to Make Modeling Chocolate page but below is a quick overview.
- Melt 12 ounces white chocolate or white confectionery coating and allow it to cool, stirring it frequently, until it reaches about 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stir in 1/3 cup light corn syrup until it becomes very thick.
- Either knead the modeling chocolate on a cool surface, like marble or granite until smooth, or place it in a zip log back for about an hour to allow it to cool then knead it until smooth.
- Follow the rule about cooling your chocolate to make perfect modeling chocolate every time.
- If you over-heat or over-cool the chocolate and your modeling chocolate becomes greasy or dry, be sure to check out my Modeling Chocolate Tips page for instructions on how to fix it.
STEP 3: Color the modeling chocolate.
- Pinch off pieces of the white modeling chocolate and knead in black, pink, and red food coloring. (Gel, paste or liquid food coloring will work, but liquid coloring will make your modeling chocolate soft.)
- USE GLOVES!!! Be sure to wear food safe gloves whenever kneading color into modeling chocolate.
- Place the colored modeling chocolate in zip top bags and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes so that it can dry a bit. If it’s too soft after 30 minutes, let it sit out at room temperature to air dry for 15-20 minutes.
I wrote an entire book all about making modeling chocolate which is also called candy clay when it’s made using confectionery coating (Wilton’s Candy Melts). My book, Candy Clay Creations, is filled with great tips on making and decorating treats using candy clay.
How to decorate strawberry polar bears?
Each of these white chocolate dipped strawberries is decorated using modeling chocolate to look like a polar bear. You can make pairs by turning one polar bear into a girl wearing a pretty pink bow.
I thought it was fun to make my polar bears look furry. I describe how to make spikes of white chocolate fur below, but the video is really the best way to see the technique.
Cut out modeling chocolate eyes, nose, ears, and bows.
- EYES and NOSE: Roll out some black modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two small circles using a small round plunger cutter. Cut out a small 1/2 inch heart using a heart plunger cutter.
- EARS: You can cut a small sliver off two white chocolate or white candy melt wafers to create the ears or you can cut out white modeling chocolate circles to create the ears.
- You want to cut a sliver off the circle using a round cookie cutter so that you create a curved edge that you can set up against the strawberry.
- BOW: Roll out pink modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two small hearts and one small circle. Set the points of the hearts together then use either water or clear piping gel to attach the circle over the intersection of the points creating a bow.
I used very large strawberries so these sizes may need to be adjusted if you use smaller berries.
Decorate the Strawberry Polar Bears
- Use melted white chocolate or confectionery coating to attach the white chocolate wafer ears to the top of the strawberry on the opposite sides of the stem.
- Paint more melted chocolate over each ear to make it look furry.
- Attach a heart shaped nose to the tip of the strawberry and two eyes above the nose.
- If you want your polar bear strawberry to be a girl add a bow just below one of the ears.
How to decorate panda bear strawberries?
Panda bears are really simple to make. They just need black ears, a nose, and some fur patches around it’s eyes. When I was designing these I tried adding eyes but in the end I realized panda bear’s eyes are just so small that these berries just looked cuter without them.
I simply added a heart shaped nose, two oval shaped fur patches and two black ears .
Cut out modeling chocolate nose, fur patches (around the eyes), ears, and bows.
- NOSE and FUR PATCHES: Roll out some black modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two ovals using a plunger cutter and cut out a small 1/2 inch heart using a heart plunger cutter.
- EARS: You can cut a small sliver off two dark chocolate or black candy melts wafers to create the ears like I did for the polar bears or you can cut out black modeling chocolate circles to create the ears like I did in the video.
- If using modeling chocolate, make the ears at least 1/4 inch thick so they are sturdy enough to hold their shape.
- BOW: Roll out red modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two small hearts and one small circle. Set the points of the hearts together then use either water or clear piping gel to attach the circle over the intersection of the points creating a bow.
Assemble the Strawberry Panda Bears
- Use melted white chocolate or confectionery coating to attach the chocolate ears to the top of the strawberry on the opposite sides of the stem.
- Attach a heart shaped nose to the tip of the strawberry and two fur patches to the sides above the nose.
- Flatten the oval fur patches to give them a more realistic looking shape.
- If you want your panda bear strawberry to be a girl add a bow just below one of the ears.
Eat the chocolate strawberries today!
- Chocolate covered strawberries are best eaten the day they are made.
- You can leave your berries at room temperature after dipping for up to 24 hours but they will be best if eaten within 12 hours of being coated in white chocolate.
DO NOT refrigerate these strawberry bears!
- Once you’ve added the modeling chocolate decorations you do not want to put them in the refrigerator.
- Modeling chocolate will wick up the moisture from the refrigerator and beads of condensation will form on the surface making the modeling chocolate sticky.
Time Saving Tips:
- Make all of your modeling chocolate decorations in advance. They will keep if stored in a zip top bag for up to a month.
- Then the day you want to serve these White Chocolate Strawberry Bears you can just dip and decorate.
Strawberry Panda and Polar Bears Recipe
White chocolate dipped strawberries decorated using modeling chocolate to look like panda and polar bears make sweet treats for Valentine's Day, a baby shower, or a birthday party.
- 16 ounces white chocolate or white confectionery coating melted and/or tempered
- 8 large strawberries cleaned, dried, and room temperature
- 2 ounces modeling chocolate (black, pink, red)
- 2 white chocolate wafers, PER POLAR BEAR
Dip strawberries in melted and tempered pure white chocolate or in melted white confectionery coating (candy melts).
Allow the excess chocolate to drip off.
Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
If desired, allow the white chocolate to puddle at the bottom of the strawberry for a few seconds, then lift up the berry and place it on a clean spot on the parchment paper.
Chill in the fridge (for 3-5 minutes) if using candy melts or let air dry (for about 10 minutes) if using pure white chocolate just until firm.
EYES and NOSE: Roll out some black modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two small circles and one 1/2 inch heart for each polar bear using a small plunger cutter.
EARS: Cut a curved sliver off of two white chocolate wafers for each polar bear or create ears using 1/4 inch thick white modeling chocolate.
BOW: Cut two small hearts and one small circle out of pink or red modeling chocolate. Set the hearts together with the points touching then attach the circle over top using water or clear piping gel to "glue" the bow together.
Dip the white chocolate coated strawberries into white chocolate again and press a fork up against the chocolate then pull away quickly. Do this all over the berry, over and over again, until spikes of fur start to form.
Attach two candy ears on the top edge of the strawberry on opposite sides of the green stem using melted white chocolate. Then add more white chocolate over the ears and create spikes of fur on them too.
Attach the modeling chocolate decorations to the strawberry using the remaining, melted, white chocolate. Add a nose to the tip of the strawberry and two eyes above it. Add a bow if making female polar bears.
NOSE and FUR PATCHES: Roll out some black modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two ovals using a plunger cutter and cut out a small 1/2 inch heart using a heart plunger cutter.
EARS: You can cut a small sliver off two dark chocolate wafers to create the ears or you can cut out black modeling chocolate circles (with a curved notch removed) to create the ears.
BOW: Roll out red modeling chocolate to about 1/8th inch thickness and cut out two small hearts and one small circle. Set the points of the hearts together then use either water or clear piping gel to attach the circle over the intersection of the points creating a bow.
Attach the modeling chocolate decorations to the strawberry using the remaining, melted, white chocolate. Add two ears on the top edge of the strawberry, a nose to the tip of the strawberry and two fur patches above it off to the side. Add a bow in front of an ear to make panda bear girls.
Did you make this recipe or do you just think it is super cute? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below.
If you love panda and polar bears you might also enjoy these other recipes:
- Fudge Polar Bears and Teddy Bears
- Panda Bear Cakes
- Polar Bear Cupcakes
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Polar Bears
See all my Valentine’s Day Recipe Ideas, here!
Will you make these strawberry bears for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, baby shower or other occasion?
Fun food for parties and special occasions. Cuz I love being in my kitchen decorating cute treats more than would ever want to be chased by a bear.
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