Easter Candy

Peanut butter Easter Egg

                                                                                


                                                                                                                                                 



4 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 tbs. evaporated milk
32 oz. bag of powdered sugar , minus 1 cup

In food processor or mixer cream the softened butter. Add the peanut butter & beat well. Add vanilla , 2 tbs of the milk & beat well. Add some of the sugar about 2 cups at a time. Keep beating & adding more sugar until it is completely blended. If it is to thick beat in more milk but do not let it get to soft. Once all the ingredients are blended & creamy turn off processor. On large cookie sheet covered with wax paper drop eggs that you form by taking heaping tablespoons of your mixture & shape them into egg shapes. Freeze on the sheets overnight. 
                                                   
4 lbs. of your favorite chocolate for melting, or 3 lbs. of milk chocolate & 1 lb of dark chocolate. Melt in a crock pot over high until melted then turn down to warm. Take eggs out of freezer & let sit out about 20 minutes.Dip one frozen, slightly thawed egg at a time into the chocolate & remove placing on wax paper covered cookie sheets until they harden. Store in airtight containers in a cool place.

Vanilla Creme Easter Egg





Candy Centers:
Before beginning to make the candy, have all ingredients prepared and ready to use.

2 large egg whites
2 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (8 ounces) white chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 cup walnut or pecans, coarsely chopped

Line a large Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper or line with Silicone Baking Mats; set aside.

In a large bowl using your Electric Mixer, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form; turn mixer off and set aside.

In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, raise the heat temperature to medium high, and continue to cook, without stirring. The sugar mixture will cook until it reaches a temperature of 260 degrees F.

As the temperature of the sugar mixture reaches 245 to 250 degrees F., resume beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form; turn mixer off and set aside.

When the temperature of the sugar mixture reaches 260 degrees F., immediately remove the pan from the heat. Immediately start pouring the hot sugar mixture, in a thin steady stream, into the beaten egg whites, while beating with an electric mixer at high speed.

Slowly add the vanilla extract and continue beating at high speed until the candy changes from a smooth shiny texture to a rough dull texture. This will take approximately 10 to 20 minutes.

As soon as the texture changes to the rough dull texture, slow the electric mixer to a medium speed and add the white chocolate pieces, stirring until the chocolate is melted and well mixed in. Add the nuts and stir until combined. NOTE: The candy will be stiff and difficult to stir. If necessary, turn the mixture out onto a board and knead with your hands to mix the nuts into the candy.

Using your hands, shape candy into egg shapes, about 2-inches in diameter. Place the candy eggs on the prepared Cookie Sheet, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, approximately 1 to 2 hours.


Chocolate Coating:
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Royal Icing (optional)

Learn different techniques for How To Melt Chocolate.

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate and vegetable shortening; stirring to combine. HINT: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water; bring just to a simmer. Place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water (the upper pan/dish should not touch the water below).

Remove the chilled candy eggs from the refrigerator. One at a time, place each egg on the end of a dinner fork; dip the eggs into the melted chocolate mixture to coat, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the pan. Use a toothpick to push the eggs off the fork and onto the baking pans; let sit until the chocolate is set.

Marshmallow "Peeps".

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil (for the pan)
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar
2/3 cup cold water divided
2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Colored sugar for decorating
Tiny amount of melted chocolate for decorating
Chick-shaped cookie cutter


Preparation:

Line the bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with plastic wrap; oil and then generously dust bottom and sides with some powdered sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place 1/3 cup cold water; sprinkle the gelatin over the surface.

In a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/3 cup water; stir to dissolve sugar. Cover the pan and place over moderately low heat. Remove the cover after 4 to 5 minutes. The steam will have caused any sugar crystals to dissolve and the syrup will be bubbling lightly. Increase the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer, and boil the syrup, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees F. Immediately remove from the heat.

Fit your electric mixer with the whisk attachment. slowly and carefully pour the syrup into the gelatin while the mixer is beating constantly at medium speed. When all of the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and whip for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm very white, and the consistency of marshmallow cream. Add the vanilla extract toward the end of mixing.

Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan; smooth the top and sprinkle liberally with colored sugar of your choice. Let the pan stand, uncovered, at room temperature to dry. out.  NOTE: Depending on the humidity, this may happen in several hours or take up to 8 hours. Generally speaking the longer you let it set up, the easier the marshmallow sheet will be to cut.

When ready to cut, invert the pan of marshmallow onto a clean cutting surface; remove the plastic wrap and coat the top with colored sugar (it should adhere easily).

Use cookie cutters to stamp out your peeps (or bunnies) and toss them in a bowl of sugar to coat the edges. If you find your cookie cutter getting sticky, was it and lightly coat with vegetable oil. With a toothpick apply a dot of chocolate to form an eye.

Store the marshmallow peeps in an airtight container.

Makes about 80 marshmallow Peeps.

Divinity


Divinity Candy
Divinity

IMPORTANT: Do not even attempt to make Divinity Candy unless the humidity level is less than 50 to 60%. The humidity level will make or break your Divinity Candy.

Recipe Type: Candy, Egg Whites
Yields: 4 dozen
Prep time: 30 min


Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water*
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup broken nuts (of your choice)

* Use 1 tablespoon less water on humid days.


Preparation:

Line a large Cookie Sheet with wax paper. Set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, add sugar, corn syrup, and water, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260 degrees F. on your Candy Thermometer or until a small amount of candy mixture dropped into very cold water forms a hard ball. Remove sugar mixture from heat. NOTE: A Candy Thermometer is the most accurate way of testing the temperature of the sugar solution.

In a large bowl using your electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Learn how to Make Perfect Meringue. Continue beating and add the hot sugar mixture to the egg whites in a slow, steady, thin stream until well mixed in. Once you begin to pour the hot sugar mixture, do NOT stop and do not scrape the mixing bowl. When all the syrup has been combined, continue to beat the mixture until it begins to lose its gloss and holds its shape in stiff peaks. This takes about 10 minutes of solid beating.

Test the divinity. The first and most important test occurs when you lift the beaters. If the candy falls back in ribbons that immediately merge back into the batter, it isn't done. Eventually, a stationary column will form between the beaters and the bowl. Candy will lose its sheen/gloss and stop being sticky; a teaspoonful dropped onto wax paper will hold its shape, even a peak. If you machine is laboring and the candy is not quite there yet, you have two choices: Pour anyway and put into a frost free freezer to set up, or finish by hand.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the vanilla extract, nuts and/or optional add-ins of your choice. If the candy becomes too stiff, add a few drops of hot water.

Using two large spoons (using 1 spoon to push the candy off the other spoon), drop spoonfuls of the divinity mixture into mounds onto the waxed paper. Allow to rest undisturbed for two hours, or until the mounds are at room temperature.  Carefully peel from the waxed paper and store on layers of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Divinity also freezes exceptionally well for longer storage.
 If you choose to spread the divinity in a pan, you will have to wait up to 24 hours before it is set and ready.
You can also make Divinity nut logs. Form a roll and roll in chopped Pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap and tie the ends tightly.

Chocolate Fruit and Nut Easter Egg


INGREDIENTS:


1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces light or regular cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
1/4 cup (4 ounces) Maraschino Cherries, drained well and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely-chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips*

* Use a good-quality chocolate chips. The taste and quality of your can is dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with.


Preparation:

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla extract until well mixed. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar.

Either stir in or use your bread kneading blade of your electric mixer to add the chopped cherries, pecans, and coconut. Knead the mixture until it is well blended. It should be easy to handle and shape, and not very sticky. If needed add additional powdered sugar.

Use the palms of your hand to roll small amounts of the candy into an egg shape. NOTE: The amount of candy you use depends on the size and number of candy eggs that you want to make. Use additional powdered sugar to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. NOTE: If the mixture gets too soft to mold easily, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Place the candy egg shapes on a wax paper, parchment paper. Refrigerator for several hours or overnight.


 Melting chocolate in double boiler: In the top of a double boiler over hot water, not boiling water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, melt chocolate; stirring until smooth. Be careful boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate which can result in "seizing," when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy. If you don't have a double boiler you can improvise one by placing a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, I turn the heat to low and leave on the burner while dipping. This keeps the chocolate from setting up to soon.

Remove the prepared candy eggs from your refrigerator.

Dip each candy egg in the melted chocolate to coat, then lay on either wax paper, parchment paper, or Silicone Baking Mat lined cookie sheet and allow the chocolate to harden. TIP: Using a toothpick to hold the balls, dip each ball into chocolate mixture to coat; place onto wax paper to harden. If the candy eggs start getting too soft to cover with chocolate, place them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes before proceeding.

If desired, you may decorate your chocolate eggs with pastel colored sprinkles found in the cake/decorating section at the grocery store.

Makes approximately 48 small Chocolate Easter Egg Candies.