Ro-MAN-ce for Men. DIY Chocolate Dipped Beef Jerky

I wouldn't say shopping for women is easy. But I would say there is certainly more variety when looking for a romantic gift. So when Valentine's Day, Father's Day, a birthday, or Christmas roll around, it can be hard to find a romantic gift for your man without making him want to gag. I think we all know there are a few things you can get your man as a romantic gesture, but if you're in it for the long haul you might be running short on ideas, so here's a new one:

DIY Chocolate Dipped Beef Jerky

It's quick, easy, and inexpensive. Here's how:

1. If it's around Valentine's day, eat an entire box of chocolates to yourself. This is really important.

You'll be using the heart shaped box for your jerky. Don't even worry about the calories, this is for your man.

2. Gather your [other] supplies.

You'll need:

-A large bag of beef jerky

-Dipping chocolate (I got mine on sale at Michael's for $1.99 per bag. I bought red, bright white, pink, and dark chocolate and had a LOT left over. If you just want one color, one bag will be more than enough.)

-Dipping chocolate boxes (This is optional and is honestly a waste of money as I paid $5 for a package of three little paper boxes. BUT, sometimes spending $5 is worth it when the alternative is cleaning caked on chocolate out of several bowls when you're in a hurry.)

-Sprinkles (Also optional. I think the jerky that didn't have sprinkles tasted better, but I wanted a little somethin' extra visually.)

-A baking sheet

-Wax paper

-Cupcake liners

-If you foolishly decided against eating an entire box of chocolates to yourself, you'll also need some sort of box for your finished jerky. Amateur.

-Stuff to [re]decorate your box so it's something your guy actually likes. (This is also optional, but come on, don't be lame. I went with robot and heart foam stickers from Target.)

3. In small quantities, melt the chocolate.

Put the dipping chocolate in your dipping box or bowl and heat in the microwave for one minute at half power. Take out and stir. If not fully melted, return to microwave for 30 second intervals at half power and continue this process until melted.

4. When I dip you dip we dip? Dip that jerky.

Work in small batches so your dipping chocolate doesn't harden before you get your jerky dipped. Place each chocolate dipped piece on a wax paper covered baking sheet.

6. If you're sprinkling, do it now before the chocolate hardens.

I thought it tasted better without the sprinkles, but they did look nice and my husband said he preferred the ones with sprinkles because they had an extra crunch. 

7. Let the jerky dry for an hour or so. 

8. Divide the dipped jerky into the cupcake liners and stick in a box.

I picked up cute ones from Michael's that were red and white with mustaches on the bottoms. 

 9. Decorate your box. 

I covered the design that came on the box with felt stickers from Target. 

10. Make your man's day.

I used the same stickers on the heart shaped box to decorate my husband's card...

...and to make my own cake topper decor. I used a Wilton cake pan to make this cake with a heart in the center. Unfortunately, my cake filling wasn't very successful and when I cut into it, raspberry filling oozed out everywhere.