April 09, 2012

Easter Treats

Last week, I found Betz White's photo tutorial for some super-cute, adorably tiny Easter baskets made from 3 oz. Dixie cups.

Naturally, I decided that I needed to make these for Easter. And put homemade candy in them. Never mind that I came up with this plan about a week before Easter. Clearly, it's a very sensible plan.

making mini Easter baskets
We painted our cups (instead of using markers like Betz) and I glittered some of them. Someday I'd like to upgrade the paint in our craft supplies from the washable Crayola stuff to something that doesn't feel like chalk when it's dry.

making mini Easter baskets
Caitlyn had a fine time painting. The weaving turned out to be a bit much, especially after the first round. I really should have checked out the instructions one more time before launching this project, since it might have been easier for her if I hadn't been taking a "I think it goes like this" approach. It could have also been that we were making 13 tiny baskets. Why thirteen? No idea.

I off-roaded a bit when it came to the candy making, too. The last batch of divinity I made (which apparently I didn't post about, so I can't link to it) lasted forever. It also used half a box of strawberry Jell-o, which gave the finished candy a rather aggressive fake strawberry flavor. So, this time, I cut the recipe in half and used plain gelatine with a teaspoon of lemon extract.
making lemon divinity
What we ended up with this time is a bit closer to lemon marshmallows. The lemon flavor comes through, although something lemony and this sweet is a bit odd, but the sugar/gelatine ratio is off. Perhaps there isn't a one-to-one correspondence between plain gelatine and Jell-o? The resulting candy isn't light and airy like divinity but chewy like several large marshmallows all at once, although thankfully without a similar volume.
lemon divinity

I had much better success with my variation on White Chocolate Creme Eggs. I didn't have pecans, so I used almonds. And I didn't have white chocolate, so I used semi-sweet. And I didn't shape them into eggs, because rolling balls is so much easier. Whoops, looks like I made accidental truffles!
chocolate eggs
Come Christmas, I've got to remember chopsticks for candy dipping. This method worked out so much better than my multiple spoon technique! Also, cool the candies on wax paper. The balls all get a bit flat on the bottom but this is a vastly preferred alternative to having them sink into a wire cooling rack and breaking all to bits when you try to get them off again!

homemade Easter candy
Two baking sheets filled with lemony-marshmallowy treats and vanilla-almond creme truffles. Not what I started out making but fine things to end with.

homemade Easter candy and basket
Each mini Easter basket got one of each candy. This one had a moment to chat with the Shasta daisies by the back gate, where the daisies are plotting to hop the sidewalk and embark on a mission of colonization.

Hooray for neighbors who throw large Easter brunch parties! The candy (for better or worse) was our contribution to the menu (don't worry, it fit right in between the doughnuts and the French toast bake), and all those baskets went off to new homes.

I do have leftover Easter candy in the fridge now, though. Anyone want a lemon marshmallow?

1 comment:

  1. I'll take one of the accidental truffles, please.

    Candy-making is something of a mystery, isn't it? Cookies are my fall-back position, but I've had good luck with home-made gumdrops and my grandmother's recipe for English Toffee that I copied out when I was 10. I laugh every time I get that recipe out and try and remember why I wrote "cook over low (high) heat."

    Those little woven baskets are adorable.