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Do-it-yourself Easter candy: Fill a basket with homemade treats

  • News & Observer
  • Published Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 10:06 a.m.

PEANUT BUTTER EASTER EGGS

This recipe comes from Dorette Snover, owner of C’est si Bon! Cooking School in Chapel Hill.

Makes 16 to 18 eggs.

1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

11/2 sticks butter, softened

1 pound powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (not chocolate chips)

1/4 cup toasted chopped peanuts

Mix peanut butter and softened butter in a medium mixing bowl using a hand mixer or in a standing mixer. Cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. It should come together to form a stiff dough. Knead if necessary to achieve a firmer consistency.

Use hands to mold dough into egg shapes and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate overnight uncovered, allowing to dry slightly.

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir until melted. (If you don’t have a double boiler, place the chocolate in a small glass or metal bowl and set on top of a small pan of simmering water.)

Dip peanut butter eggs in the chocolate using two forks, return to wax paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle dipped eggs with chopped peanuts. Let harden and then wrap in brightly colored foil or place in festive cupcake liners.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — March 27, 2013

MANGO GELEES

The original recipe calls for 1 cup unsweetened fruit puree. Author Hedy Goldsmith likes to use passion fruit, mango and guava. One note: I had no luck with making this with raspberry puree. Raspberries have little natural pectin, so I would stick with Goldsmith’s fruit suggestions. Adapted From “Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts with Big Flavors,” by Hedy Goldsmith (Clarkson Potter, 2012).

Makes 64 1-inch gelees.

2 mangos

21/2 cups sugar, plus more for dusting and serving

2 (3-ounce) pouches liquid pectin

Line bottom of an 8-inch-square baking dish with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

Peel mangos and cut away fruit. Puree the fruit in a food mill or a food processor. You will need 1 cup of fruit puree.

Combine fruit puree and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes. (You may have to lower the heat to keep the fruit syrup from boiling over.) Remove from heat and whisk in pectin. Stir until well blended, and then pour into prepared baking dish. Set aside at room temperature until completely cool and firm. The time will vary depending upon the fruit used.

Run a small knife around the edge of the baking dish, invert the gelee onto a work surface, and peel off the parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a large knife, cut the gelee crosswise into eight 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into eight squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Toss with extra sugar just before eating; otherwise leave the gelees alone until eating. The sugar melts if they are tossed too far ahead of time.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — March 27, 2013

For many children, Easter is all about the hunt. They love searching for hidden eggs and snooping for the ultimate Easter jackpot: a basket filled with jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps and chocolate rabbits so large that they make a child’s eyes go wide.

My mother used to make homemade Easter candy. She would make chocolate lollipops in the shape of eggs, bunnies and chicks and my favorite, chocolate-dipped peanut butter eggs.

Now that I’m a mother, I wanted to do the same for my daughter. As a toddler, she doesn’t understand the holiday’s religious meaning, let alone know about the Easter bunny. But I figured it wasn’t too early to continue my family’s tradition of making homemade Easter treats.

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