Get our newsletters

Recipe of the Week: Shoppers are hopping to stores for Easter candy


Years ago I interviewed a local candy vendor who told me that his customers shopped at his store twice each Easter season: when the holiday candy first appeared on the shelves to eat immediately, then again weeks later to fill family baskets for the holiday.

I understood; as a lifetime fan, I know that Easter candy is the best.

The rest of the nation knows it too. Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday; only Halloween has more sales. In an average year, Americans spend close to $2 billion on Easter candy.

By weight, that means Americans purchased approximately 146 million pounds of candy the week before Easter. That’s nearly a half-pound for every man, woman and child. And we know it all doesn’t wind up in Easter baskets.

One of the joys of Easter candy when I was growing up was that the stores offered items that couldn’t be found the rest of the year. Today, we can buy jelly beans and various shapes of marshmallow Peeps year round. Coconut cream and other favorite candy eggs also are showing up in different forms during other seasons. But we can still count on some items that belong to Easter alone: Cadbury crème and other candy eggs and chocolate bunnies are among them.

For those who like handmade candy, local chocolate shops have been busy. After this weekend they will put away their Easter chocolate molds until next year. At Stutz Candy Company in Warrington they have been making Easter candy for more than 80 years. For more than 50 years Raymer’s Homemade Candies have been made, first in Wisconsin, and since 2001 in Doylestown. Pierre’s Chocolates has been sweetening New Hope for more than 35 years.

Just as dyeing hard-boiled eggs is a tradition for many families, some also find time to make their own Easter treats. While you might not want to make your own marshmallow chicks, peanut butter or coconut cream eggs are easy enough to mix, form, and dip in chocolate. Some recipes, like these bird’s nests and pretzel nests from, can be made with the help of children as long as the melting is done under the watchful eye of an adult.

Bird’s Nest Treats

¼ cup butter, cubed

4 ½ cups miniature marshmal


¼ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 cups chow mein noodles

1 cup jelly beans or candy eggs

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and marshmallows until smooth, stirring occasionally. Add the peanut butter and chocolate chips; heat and stir for 2 minutes or until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in chow mein noodles until well coated.

2. Divide into 12 mounds on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Using fingers, shape each into a nest; press an indentation in the center of nest. Fill each nest with 3 or 4 jelly beans or candy eggs. Cool.

Pretzel Bird’s Nests

2 packages (10 to 12 ounces

each) white baking chips

1 package (10 ounces) pretzel


24 yellow Peeps chicks

1 package (12 ounces) M&M

eggs or other egg-shaped


1. In a large metal bowl over simmering water, melt baking chips; stir until smooth. Reserve ½ cup melted chips for decorations; keep warm.

2. Add pretzel sticks to remaining melted chips; stir to coat evenly. Drop mixture into 24 mounds on waxed paper; shape into bird nests using 2 forks.

3. Dip bottoms of Peeps in reserved melted chips; place in nests. Attach eggs with remaining chips. Let stand until set.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.