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Spring is here, and Easter is just around the corner. Pastel-colored confections are lining the store shelves and filling baskets. Have you bought any yet? I think Easter candy is about exclusivity. I used to buy at least two things during the Easter candy season: marshmallow Peeps and Cadbury Eggs. My husband is a fan of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. What are your must-have Easter treats?
These treats come around once a year. Is it really a big deal if they’re bad for you? It’s candy. It’s supposed to be bad for you. A sugar high and extra calories are one thing, but a “treat” filled with synthetic chemicals, petroleum byproducts, and transfats is a whole different kind of bad.
Today, we’re going cut out the “junk” and home make a couple classic Easter candies: the chocolate covered peanut butter egg and the marshmallow chick.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs
If you’re going to home-make any Easter candy treats, this is the place to start. Why?
- Home made peanut butter eggs are actually pretty quick and easy.
- You probably already have all the ingredients on hand.
- You could have a dozen made in less time than it takes to go buy them at the store and for a fraction of the price.
- You can customize the ingredients to make them peanut-free and/or dairy-free.
- No special tools needed, not even a mixer. Just a couple of bowls and a baking sheet.
- The store bought candies are heavily processed and feature: dextrose, hydrogenated oils (aka transfats), TBHQ (a form of butane used as a preservative), PGPR (cheap substitute for cocoa butter, linked to enlarged liver), artificial flavors, and a deluge of genetically modified ingredients including corn syrup, cornstarch, and soy lecithin.
There are dozens of copycat recipes for chocolate covered peanut butter eggs. Here’s the basic idea:
- Dough. Create a peanut butter dough using peanut butter, some kind of extra oil or fat, some sweetener, and something to absorb some moisture.
- Coating. Create a melted chocolate coating using regular chocolate or a mixture of chocolate and butter/oil for a less crisp covering.
- Make. Form your peanut butter eggs and dip/cover them with the chocolate.
Some recipes use peanut butter + powdered sugar + butter for the dough. It has a good consistency, but I didn’t think it needed that much sweetness. I like the contrast of a slightly salty peanut butter center with a dark chocolate coating. After a few attempts, here is my favorite recipe for homemade chocolate covered peanut butter eggs.
You can substitute any nut/seed butter, but you may have to tweak the other ingredients for the right consistency.
I used plain, ground up peanuts without any salt, sugar, or oil added. If you use jarred peanut butter, you will have to adjust the recipe. If the dough’s consistency is right, and it tastes good to you, go for it!
I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for scooping out the dough. This helps make uniform sizes.
Adding more coconut oil to the chocolate makes it easier to work, but it also lowers the melting point, resulting in melted chocolate at 74º F. Storing in the fridge solves this problem, but if you have any more chocolate-making wisdom to offer, please share!
The result was AWESOME. I would not hesitate to make these again, and I feel like they were worth the effort.
This is part of an Organic Living Journey Guest Post Series now written by Mariana who has a mother’s heart and scientist’s brain. Stay tuned tomorrow to see Easter Treats Without the Junk, Part II where Mariana shows us how to make Marshmallow Chicks!