Ham and lamb are popular main courses for Easter, but a favorite holiday dessert will always be Easter candy. The millions of chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps that are sold annually combine to make Easter the number two holiday for candy sales in the U.S. according to the National Confectioners’ Association (Halloween is number one).
Our favorite local candy shops have closed their doors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but some have remained open for pickup and curbside delivery. Working with limited staff they have been requiring two to three days to fill online orders.
Shops still selling candy include Stutz’s in Warrington and Hatboro, Pierre’s Chocolates in New Hope, Skip’s Candy Corner in Lahaska, Great American Popcorn Works in Telford and La Chocolate Box in Lambertville, N.J.
Raymer’s Chocolates in Doylestown also has been taking orders, although those who like to browse can find Raymer’s Easter candy at Trauger’s Farm Store in Kintnersville and at the Del Val Market. The farm store, like others in Bucks County and New Jersey, is open for business as a grocery.
Traditional family gatherings for Easter and Passover need to be curtailed or limited to online “parties” because of the pandemic, while churches and synagogues are limited to online services. But families can still celebrate together at home.
One way is to make your own Easter candy; Rice Krispies treats colored and formed into “nests” for jelly bean eggs, marshmallow chicks made from scratch or chocolate-covered eggs. This recipe from allrecipes.com suggests dividing the basic creamy filling into four portions, then adding different flavorings to three. It’s a good family-based activity and when it’s done you get to eat the results.
Chocolate-Covered Easter Eggs
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2½ pounds confectioners’ sugar
1cup flaked coconut (optional)
1 cup peanut butter (optional)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil (optional)
1. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese. Stir in confectioners’ sugar to make a workable dough. For best results, use your hands for mixing.
2. Divide the dough into four parts. Leave one of the parts plain. To the second part, mix in peanut butter. Mix coconut into the third part, and cocoa powder into the last part. Roll each type of dough into egg shapes, and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard, at least an hour.
3. Melt chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth. If the chocolate seems too thick for coating, stir in a teaspoon of the shortening or oil until it thins to your desired consistency. Dip the chilled candy eggs in chocolate, and return to the waxed paper lined sheet to set. Add decorations if you choose. Refrigerate for ½ hour to harden.