Easter Embarrassment: 3 Easy Candy Recipes

Easter Embarrassment: 3 Easy Candy Recipes

Isn’t it funny how the most mortifying moments of your life are some of the most vivid images your memory conjures? I haven’t been able to pick up Easter candy for the last 40 years without recalling one of the earliest times I embarrassed the heck out of myself (I wish I could say it was the last time I did it. Unfortunately, there have been many opportunities since then to top myself). I was young (really young) – and it was the first time I got to go into a store by myself.

White Chocolate Cherries

White Chocolate Cherries

I was visiting my grandparents, and we were out and about one afternoon. I’m not sure of the sequence of events that led up to it, but my grandfather gave me some money and let me go into the candy store by myself to buy something for not only me, but my two younger brothers as well.

I can remember being very proud of myself because I spent quite a bit of time browsing everything and giving careful thought to what Matt and J.J. would each like (as most of you with siblings are aware, thinking about what they’d like isn’t always high on a kid’s priority list). Grown up enough to go to the store alone and so unselfish – I was sure everyone was going to fawn all over me. I took my selections to the counter, and then the embarrassing light of reality was shone straight in my eyes.

The woman rang up my purchase and I handed her my money. I guess at this point I should tell you that it was right before Easter, and I had taken great care in selecting not one but three very large, filled Easter baskets – complete with candy, toys, cellophane wrapping, and a big bow. What I gave her was three quarters. Yes, bargain shopper that I am, I was trying to by (I’m guessing) ten or fifteen dollars worth of merchandise with seventy-five cents. The woman very kindly explained to me that I didn’t have quite enough money and offered options that were in my price range. What I left with was three packages of marshmallow peeps. I was so dejected – my basket had a pistol and holster in it, for crying out loud. I slunk out of the store and back to my grandparents, red-faced and defeated.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs

Every year when the holiday rolls around, I think about this story every time I buy Easter candy. You know, I still refuse to buy those cellophane wrapped baskets, and I cannot stand marshmallow peeps, even now.

Of course, I think a lot of people have stories like this. I also think this is why I always have a running total in my head whenever I shop for anything – I don’t ever want to have to settle for a three-pack of peeps again.

To escape the possibility of being humiliated this year, I decided to make my own candy for Easter. Of course, the problem is that I cannot stand fussy detail when I cook. To get around that, I came up with three ideas that are simple to execute but still have a little bit of bang. Besides, telling someone you made candy always elicits amazement.

For the most part, I don’t even think you can call these recipes ‘cooking’. It is basically melting chocolate and dipping stuff into it. I don’t think Jacques Torres has much to worry about from me.

Don can’t stand white chocolate, so I thought I’d be safe dipping candied cherries in it (I’ve let go of a little of that unselfishness since the incident at the candy store – life lessons will do that to you). Of course, it turns out that the white chocolate cherries were his favorites of the three – I ended up having to hide them in order to preserve them for the holiday.

Toasted Almond Clusters

Toasted Almond Clusters

The only trouble I came across was the peanut butter filling for the eggs. I didn’t want to put anything in the mix that would cause the filling to be stiff, so getting the pliable peanut butter eggs in and out of the melted chocolate proved to be a tad nerve-wracking. But just like everything else, I tell people that they’re ‘rustic’. Honestly, I spend all week being anal retentive as I manage installation projects – the last thing I want to do on the weekend is worry about making things perfectly identical. If you don’t like the rustic look, then, by all means, fuss to your heart’s content.

I also like different varieties of chocolate combined with different things. The toasted almonds work great with bittersweet chocolate, and it is a nice contrast to the super-sweet cherries and white chocolate.

All in all, I think it took a little over an hour to concoct all three confections. Not much trouble at all to escape more Easter embarrassment.

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
 
They can be pretty scarce around the holidays, so why not make your own?
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Candy
Ingredients
  • 2 C peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • 11 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine peanut butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool.
  3. Once cooled, Take 2T of peanut butter mixture and form into egg shape.
  4. Place peanut butter egg onto baking sheet lined with wax paper and press until uniform thickness (about ⅜”) while maintaining egg shape.
  5. Place peanut butter mixture in freezer for 30 minutes or until set (they will still be pliable).
  6. Place milk chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  7. Microwave on half-power for 20 seconds at a time.
  8. After each 20 second interval, stir the chocolate.
  9. Continue until all the chocolate is melted (being careful not to scorch the chocolate).
  10. Dip each peanut butter egg into the melted milk chocolate (one at a time), using two spoons.
  11. Return dipped peanut butter to wax paper-lined baking sheet.
  12. Once all eggs are dipped, return to refrigerator until milk chocolate sets.
  13. If desired, add 2oz of bittersweet chocolate into a small, microwave-safe bowl and melt using same method as before.
  14. Drizzle over milk chocolate covered eggs and return to fridge until set.
  15. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
  16. Makes 16 eggs.

 
Toasted Almond Chocolate Clusters
 
An easy gift that the kids can help with.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Candy
Ingredients
  • 10oz raw almonds
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast for 6-9 minutes, until almonds are slightly toasted, being careful not to burn them.
  4. Remove almonds from baking sheet and allow to come to room temperature.
  5. Place bittersweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  6. Microwave on half-power for 20 seconds at a time.
  7. After each 20 second interval, stir the chocolate.
  8. Continue until all the chocolate is melted (being careful not to scorch the chocolate).
  9. Pour toasted almonds into the melted chocolate and toss until almonds are thoroughly coated.
  10. With a spoon place a cluster of 3 almonds at a time onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
  11. Once almond clusters are finished, place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate sets.
  12. Makes about 6 dozen clusters.

 
White Chocolate Cherries
 
Ridiculously easy to make for something so ridiculously good.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Candy
Ingredients
  • 16 oz jar maraschino cherries
  • 11 oz white chocolate chips
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate (optional)
Instructions
  1. Drain maraschino cherries and place on paper towels. Pat dry (if there is any moisture, it could keep the chocolate from adhering, or it could make the chocolate seize up).
  2. Place white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave on half-power for 20 seconds at a time.
  4. After each 20 second interval, stir the chocolate.
  5. Continue until all the chocolate is melted (being careful not to scorch the chocolate).
  6. Dip each cherry into the melted white chocolate (one at a time), using a fork.
  7. Place dipped cherries onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
  8. Once all cherries are dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate sets.
  9. If desired, add 2oz of bittersweet chocolate into a small, microwave-safe bowl and melt using same method as before.
  10. Drizzle over chocolate covered cherries and return to fridge until set.
  11. Makes about 4 dozen

 

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