Easter is one of the main festivals or holidays in Christianity. It marks the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion. Easter is the joyful end to the Lenten period of fasting and penance.
History.com has this to say about two Easter traditions:
“The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent the emergence of Jesus from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were once a forbidden food during the season of Lent, so people painted and decorated them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a feast The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature that delivers decorated eggs to good children on Sundays of Easter; nevertheless, the Easter Bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday.”
With these traditions at the forefront, this brings me to the homemade tradition of making Easter candies and other sweet treats for Easter baskets or table displays. Here are just a few of the many easy recipes that can be made by any cook in their home kitchen.
These are just three examples of Easter desserts from my personal files. So I encourage you to check out the web and the many cookbooks for unique ideas to create in your kitchen.
Easter for my family means the beginning of spring and everything new! Your Easter gatherings and dinner may differ, but I hope you experience the many new beginnings to come.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said this:
“It was Easter Sunday. Trees in full bloom filled the air with fragrance and joy.”
As always, I couldn’t agree more!
Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a staff writer for The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of Public House and adjunct professor of culinary arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be contacted at [email protected]
Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
For 6 to 8 people
· 6 to 8 oz. milk or dark chocolate, including chocolate fondants
¾ cups organic creamy peanut butter (no added sugar)
1 cup powdered sugar
Easter sprinkles or Easter candies (optional)
· Combine powdered sugar and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended.
· When the mixture begins to harden, use gloves and knead the contents to mix.
· Divide peanut butter mixture into 6-8 equal pieces. Working with the mixture in your hands, roll out the dough and shape each into an egg shape.
· Place the shaped eggs on a plate covered with plastic wrap and put in the freezer until they are firm, about 20 minutes.
Dip each peanut butter egg in melted chocolate
Place on waxed paper or wire rack
· Garnish with Easter sprinkles or candy and let harden.
· Store eggs in an airtight container (refrigerated or at room temperature) for 4-7 days or in the freezer for 5-6 months.
Note: I like to present these eggs on an Easter grass display or in clear candy wrappers with ribbon. You can also line the eggs with a different colored piping.
Easy Easter Fudge
For 6 to 8 people
6 cups white chocolate chips
2 – 28 oz. can sweeten condensed milk
8 tbsp. Butter
4 cups of Easter M&M’s
4 cups Whopper Robin Easter Eggs or Glitter Eggs
4 cups of Easter nuggets
Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper
· Combine chocolate chips, milk and butter and place in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Stir the mixture until it is melted
Mix 1 cup M&M’s, jumbo eggs and sprinkle until combined
· Pour the fudge into the mold and cover with the rest of the candies.
Place the mold on the counter overnight to harden
· Then cut into small or medium squares.
Note: For the Easter basket, I place the fudge in the clear wrappers and tie it with a ribbon. You can also present on a serving platter.
Simple Easter Bunny Cake
1 package (16 ounces) vanilla or homemade frosting
1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
3 ¾ cups shredded coconut
30 small candies
4 strings of black licorice
· Heat the oven according to the box cake guideline.
· You will need two 9 inch round cake pans, prepare the pans as directed by the recipe on the box.
· Mix the paste according to the instructions on the box.
· Add 1/2 cup coconut. Divide the coconut between the 2 moulds.
· Bake and cool cake as directed on package.
· When cakes are cool, place an entire 9-inch layer of cake on a serving platter or board.
· Cut 2 shaped ears on each side of the second layer, place them (convex) on each side of the head to form the ears.
· Then cut out a bow tie shape and place it under the head.
· Freeze the whole rabbit.
· Pat remaining 3 1/4 cups coconut evenly over top and sides.
· Decorate the bow tie with candies and sprinkles and the face with licorice string.
· You can pipe the eyes, nose and mouth with black icing (or your choice) and include candy for the eyeballs and one for the bunny nose.
Note: My bunny face directions are what I like to do. Be inventive and try other ideas you might have.