When I was a child, my favorite thing about Easter was when my mom took me to a tiny little chocolate shop called "Hansel & Gretel". There, I would marvel at all the beautiful handmade chocolate bunnies and exquisitely decorated eggs. Every piece was a work of art (and I was certain that the Easter Bunny himself was busy working in the back).
There's certainly no shortage of commercially available Easter candy, but to me, some of the "magic" of Easter is lost in mass production. So, I've made it a tradition, every spring, to make a little "magic" of my own -- recreating some of the Old World style chocolates of my childhood.
This year I continued my tradition of making large chocolate eggs filled with whimsical little treats. I also absconded with my friend Holly's vintage chocolate bunny mold, and whipped up a warren-ful of happy little hares! Thanks Holly!
Making your own chocolate egg treasure boxes is relatively simple and cost effective. Here's a quick tutorial to get you started on your way down the bunny trail...
Chocolate Egg Treasure Boxes
(makes 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large egg)
Wilton Easter Egg Candy Mold Set*
(Includes 2-pc. egg molds:
small (3 x 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 in.,
medium (4 1/4 x 3 x 3 1/4 in.
and large (5 x 4 x 3 3/4 in.)
Colored Candy Melts
Dark or Light Chocolate Candy Melts**
Pastry bag or small ziploc bag
Step 1: Melt 1/4 cup colored candy melts in a small bowl. Transfer to pastry bag or small ziploc bag. Carefully snip a small piece from the tip. Pipe design on the lid pieces of each egg mold. Place in the freezer to quick set. Place the empty mold bottoms in the freezer at the same time.
Step 2: Melt entire bag of dark or light chocolate melts (see melting tips below). Remove molds from freezer. Fill one side of mold with melted chocolate. Make sure sides are completely coated.
Step 3: Flip mold over and lightly shake excess back in to the chocolate bowl. Flip back with plastic facing down and place in the refrigerator to set. Repeat with remaining molds.
Step 4: Let chocolate set in refrigerator for 30 minutes. When chocolate has set, it will appear hazy through the plastic (as pictured). Molded chocolate should slip easily from the mold. If it is stuck, you can give the mold a light tap on a table, plastic side facing up.
The finished product will be shiny and smooth.
Once all the egg halves have been removed from the molds,
it's time to decorate!
Fill with a small toy and candy treats
Put halves together and tie with ribbon.
I like to finish off the look with little millinery flowers.
You can also stack the eggs like nesting boxes
and put a little surprise in the smallest egg!
1. *Egg Molds -- I was sad to see that Wilton has discontinued this set, but they pop up regularly on ebay and etsy. You may also use any other brand of plastic egg mold, like the ones sold at kitchenkrafts.
2. **Chocolate Types and Quality -- While "candy melts" are certainly the easiest to use, those with a palette for more artisinal chocolates will want to use "couverture" chocolate which will require tempering before use. Do not attempt to use chocolate chips or Hershey bars. They are not formulated for candymaking.
2. Melting Method -- The best way to heat and melt the candy melts is to heat them slowly, in a ceramic bowl, at very low heat in a microwave. Since all microwaves vary in power, this will require a bit of experimentation. For my microwave, I've found that the medium-low setting at 1-2 minute increments works perfectly. Be patient -- low and slow is best. Keep your chocolate away from water and moisture. A single drop of water can cause the chocolate to sieze.
3. Filling the Top Mold -- When filling the top mold with chocolate, you can keep it stable by setting it inside the bottom mold.
4. To Fuse the Egg Halves Together -- run the blade of an offset spatula over an open flame or under boiling water. Cautiously run the flat side of the spatula around the rim of the bottom egg to slightly melt it. Immediately set top egg piece in place.