Why, why, why did I buy so much candy for Easter? I must have been tempted by the low prices and pretty merchandizing by the clever elves at Target. Add in the candy that was jammed into each plastic Easter egg and you have a guaranteed toddler meltdown. I ended my day with my neighbors watching me try to pry my screaming offspring off the ground in our cul de sac. Next year, I promise, it's going to be toys and books. No more being seduced by Target's prices and attractive organic candy displays.
It didn't help that I also added to the problem by making a constant stream of fat and sugar bomb desserts. The real dessert winner of Easter was so easy and simple to make, but so, so good; chocolate dipped peanut butter eggs (aka copycat Reece's peanut butter eggs). Seriously, anyone can make them, it is so easy and fast and they taste so much better than the store bought ones. I imagine you could also easily make these vegan if you replaced the butter with coconut oil and used vegan chocolate.
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Eggs for Easter (or everyday)
recipe adapted from Show Me The Yummy
1 c creamy peanut butter (I used Kirkland Organic)
1/2 c butter (does not need to be soft or unsalted)
1/4 c (packed) dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 T coconut oil
16 oz good quality semi-sweet baking chocolate (you can also use chocolate chips)
1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium sized sauce pan over low heat. Mix until smooth and melted.
2. Transfer mixture into a large bowl and mix in the powdered sugar 1/4-1/2 cup at a time, making sure that no lumps of powdered sugar remain. The batter will be sticky and tough to mix, but power through until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
3. When the mixture is cool to the touch, use a spoon or small cookie scoop to shape each portion into an egg. Place on prepared baking tray (silpat is best, but you may also use parchment). Gently smoosh down on it and smooth out any ridges or bumps. It can be a general suggestion of an egg shape, it does not have to be perfect!
4. Pop tray into the freezer and freeze until the eggs are very hard. Check at 15 minutes and go longer if you need.
5. While your eggs are freezing, melt the coconut oil and chocolate together over a bain marie*(or a microwave, but I really hate using the microwave to melt chocolate). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Do not let it firm up. If chocolate firms up, simply give it a gentle re-heat on the bain marie.
6. Using a fork to support the bottom of each egg, dip it in the bowl of chocolate, making sure that it gets fully covered (you can use a spoon to help cover the tops and sides if needed). Gently place the chocolate covered egg on your prepared pan and continue on with the rest. Depending on the liquidity of the chocolate, some may pool on the tray and you'll end up with chocolate puddles around your egg. This didn't bother me (I was feeling lazy that day), but if you want it a little more even looking, place the chocolate dipped egg on a wire cookie drying rack (place something under it to catch the drips) and let the chocolate drip off the eggs. Transfer to baking tray to freeze. If you want the entire egg covered in chocolate, you will have to repeat this process on the other side after the eggs are frozen (dip once, freeze, dip on the other side, freeze).
I ended up with quite a bit of leftover melted chocolate, so I used it in a vanilla cheesecake. You're going to get a picture of that instead of the chocolate eggs.
7. Once all your eggs are covered (or once you get all your eggs in a basket...joke), you can either freeze or chill in the fridge till they are completely hard. Store between sheets of parchment in an airtight container or ziplock bag in fridge or freezer.
These will not last long. They go down nicely with a glass of Chandon California Blanc De Noirs or as "dinner."
*WTF is a bain marie? You do not have to buy any fancy equipment for this (or you can, but it's not necessary). Take a medium sized saucepan and fill roughly a quarter of the way with water. Find a HEAT PROOF bowl that will fit nicely on top of the saucepan. It does not have to balance on the top of the saucepan, it can dip into the water a little bit, but it can not touch the bottom of the pan; this will scorch your chocolate (which tastes disgusting). Bring the water to a simmer and place the chocolate and coconut oil (or whatever fat you are using) in the bowl. The indirect heat from the simmering water will slowly melt and temper your chocolate. Stir occasionally until chocolate is silky smooth and has a high gloss. Remove from heat and let cool a bit before using.