Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Easter Treat :: Chocolate Bunnies and Peanut Butter Filled Eggs

 Chocolate bunnies are synonymous with Easter. Children’s baskets will be filled with these adorable little hoppers come Easter morning. By lunchtime, they may be missing their ears! So, why not make your own?

Each year, I invite friends over to participate in making Easter treats for their children and for others. This year, we made bunnies, frogs, fireflies, owls, medallions, and even a few peanut butter filled eggs.

For the bunnies, you’ll need a rabbit candy mold, 1 package of candy melts (in your favorite flavor or color), cellophane bags with ties, and either a Wilton Chocolate Pro Melting pot or a handful of icing bags.
Let’s begin:
1. Melt the candy melts. There are several ways to do this. You can melt them in a low-temperature candy melting pot, like the Wilton Chocolate Pro Melt; or you can use and icing bag filled with 8 to 10 melts and heated in the microwave (on defrost) according to the candy melt directions. I have used both ways and prefer the melting pot.
2. Once melted, either gently pour from the melting pot into your mold or snip the tip of the bag and lightly squeeze the chocolate into the mold. Fill your mold to the brim and ensure overall even distribution of chocolate throughout you mold. Clean off any excess chocolate on the mold.

3. Place in the fridge or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on which works best for you. My freezer did the trick this afternoon. Be careful not to leave the chocolate in the cold too long as it will begin to condense. You can tell the chocolate has set when it is firm to the touch and the chocolate appears to have pulled away from the mold. The cavity will also appear slightly grey.
4. Gently turn the mold over and lightly press down. Slowly! The chocolate bunny should release. If it does not, return the mold to the fridge for a few more minutes.

5. Take the chocolate bunny and place it into a cellophane bag. Then make a place for it in the Easter basket! Make sure the chocolate bunny is not exposed to direct sunlight or heat, as it will melt.

{To make a hollow chocolate egg that you can fill with candies or trinkets, simply fill both sides of a small egg mold to the brim. Allow them to cool for approximately one minute. Then promptly remove them and “dump” the softer chocolate back into the melting pot. Then return the molds into the fridge to completely cool. Gently remove the chocolate shells from the molds. Fill with whatever you please (below is a peanute butter filling recipe). Take a royal icing, in any color, and seal the two halves together. You can decorate them any way you choose! }
Recipe for Peanut Butter Filling:
1 1/2 T. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar, shifted
Melt butter in a small pot. Add peanut butter and stir until creamy. Gently add powdered sugar. Combine until almost solid; add more powdered sugar if necessary. Allow to cool for 1 hour prior to use.
Your little ones (and even big ones) will love knowing YOU made their chocolate bunny this year! Happy Easter!
Note: Don’t wash your candy molds in soapy water. Simply rinse them out and let them dry. Otherwise, the soap will adhere to your molds and make your future chocolate creations taste odd. Also, if you make any other sugar art (like sugar eggs), do not use these molds for that purpose, as sugar scratches your molds and will change the chocolate texture.
I get my candy molds from Wine & Cake Hobbies in Norfolk, Virginia.

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