If you are a do-it-yourselfer or just looking for something new, try making your own Easter candy this year. Be sure to stock up on chocolate and sugar – the main ingredients in any Easter basket stash. One great fallback plan is always chocolate: the sky’s the limit, and if it doesn’t turn out looking like what you wanted, it will always taste delicious. Stop by a craft store for molds and lollipop sticks to melt your chocolate into bunny shapes, and even chocolate chick or egg pops! If starting from scratch is not your thing, you can also put your own spin on Easter candies. Buy a pack of Peeps and dip them in chocolate, then dip in sprinkles or colored sugar for a unique twist on the holiday staple. Here are some great ideas to make your Easter basket one to remember:
Solid Chocolate Easter Eggs
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate
Prepare the eggshells by poking a hole in the bottom of each with a thumbtack or straight pin. Twist the tack around to make the hole larger, until it is the size of a pencil eraser. Insert a pencil eraser or a skewer and move it around inside the egg until the egg yolk is broken up. Pour the egg yolk out through the whole and into a container to save for another use (such as scrambled eggs). Repeat with each of the other eggs. Place eggshells in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes to dry and to kill any bacteria inside the egg.
Chop up chocolate into fine bits and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until all of the chocolate is melted.
Put chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip that can fit in the hole in the eggshell, or just place the chocolate in a Ziploc bag and cut off one of the corners.
Stand the eggshells up in an egg carton with the holes on top. Pour the melted chocolate into each, and tap the eggshells to get rid of any air bubbles in the chocolate. Fill to the top of each shell.
Refrigerate the eggs for several hours, or overnight. Then, unpeel the eggs and decorate with melted chocolate, or eat plain.
4 cups chow mein noodles
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
30 small jellybeans
Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease with cooking oil spray.
Melt butter and marshmallows in a pot over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Pour noodles into a large bowl. Then, add the melted butter and marshmallows to the noodles, and stir until well-coated.
Rub some butter on your hands and form the noodle mixture into six round balls. Place balls on prepared cookie sheet. Press the back of a spoon into each ball to create a round indentation for your nest.
Let nests set until they are firm. Then, fill each with small jellybeans (or another candy of your choice, such as M&Ms, chocolate-covered raisins, skittles, etc.).
1 lb white confectioners’ coating
1 lb jellybeans
Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper and set aside.
Using a double boiler, simmer water, and melt white confectioners’ coating in the top pot, stirring often and scraping the coating off of the sides of the pot frequently. Spread the melted white confectioners' coating onto the prepared pan, and sprinkle jellybeans over the top.
Refrigerate for at least one hour until firm. Break into pieces to serve.
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Put chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter or margarine in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on medium until chips are melted (about 3-5 minutes) stirring once or twice during cooking. If desired, stir in nuts.
Pour mixture into well-greased 8x8-inch glass baking dish. Refrigerate until set.