Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Treats

I love Easter candy.

One year, I gained about 5 pounds from eating way too many Russell Stover strawberry cream eggs. I kid you not.

I buy jelly beans and yellow bunny Peeps and Brach's chocolate marshmallow rabbits. It has to be Brach's. I added a new bag of goodies to my shopping cart this year, Hershey's Cookies and Cream eggs. Those are for the children. I prefer some peanut butter in my miniature eggs. Think Reese's.

Which brings me to today's column.

I made my own chocolate covered peanut butter eggs last week, and they were delicious and very, very easy to make. Too easy, in fact, because it's very tempting to make them again.

There are no complicated ingredients or instructions with this recipe; it's a wonderful one to make with children because they can help form the eggs.

Those of you who read my column might recall an almost identical recipe two years ago for a chocolate peanut butter ball candy, or buckeyes, at Christmas. You could use that same recipe, in fact, and just make the candy egg-shaped instead of round.

Making the eggs consists of mixing the peanut butter filling and shaping and cooling the eggs before dipping them in chocolate.

I've done a lot of chocolate dipping in recent years, but I had a breakthrough moment with this recipe. I placed an egg in a large spoon and dipped it into the warm chocolate. I rolled the egg inside the bowl of the spoon until it was coated. Then I transferred each egg to a large piece of wax paper and let the chocolate firm.

I made my eggs several sizes. I really like the smaller ones. The larger ones are easier to decorate, though, and would work well for personalizing with a child's name.

The recipe makes quite a few eggs, so I delivered about a dozen to work. They were the perfect size to fit in colorful cupcake holders.

I stored my candy eggs in the refrigerater. Some of my family members ate them while they were still cold, but I prefer to leave them on the counter for a few minutes.

Either way, it's chocolate and peanut butter, so how can it be bad?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
With an electric mixer, blend softened butter and peanut butter until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar and milk until mixed. Shape peanut butter mixture into egg shapes. Can be various sizes.
Place eggs on a cookie sheet or in other container and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Once eggs are chilled, place chocolate chips and shortening in microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 minute. Stir. If the chips don’t melt, put back in at 15-second intervals. Don’t overcook.
Dip eggs in chocolate and place on wax paper to firm. I placed my eggs in a spoon for dipping. Roll the egg in the bowl of the spoon until coated.
Once the chocolate has hardened some, they are ready to decorate.
Store in refrigerator.

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