I am very thankful that whoever is in charge of picking holidays decided that Easter would fall mid-April this year. Thank you for that, CEO of Undefined Holiday Date Decisions.
I am thankful, because this gap between the beginning of spring and the arrival of Easter actually gives me time to craft, decorate, and to share some holiday-inspired recipes with you.
While I enjoy planning ahead, I have a really challenging time getting my head into spring-mode in the grey and chilly days of early March. This is why I rarely have themed recipes. Inspiration tends to come to me in the moment, so if I’m not wearing flip-flops and ogling fresh produce I just cannot will myself to make a sparkling lemonade, or popsicles, or anything else that screams of springtime.
This year, I have had several weeks of flirtatiously warm days to get my head into this spring game and prepare some treats for your Easter celebrations. The banners have been hung, the sugar eggs decorated, and now it is time to make the most delicious of my family’s Easter traditions - peanut butter eggs.
Yes, you can buy these in yellow and orange packages at Target, but there is nothing so splendid as a homemade peanut butter egg. Especially if it was made by my mother.
There is a story that is retold each year around our family table about the year where my 4-year-old brother consumed an estimated eight of these eggs in one sitting. When my mother’s eyes were on her company, and everyone else’s on their dinner plates, he visited the dessert table.
Had I the excuse and charm of a 4-year-old, I might venture to do the same. There is just something about the union of peanut butter and chocolate. I like to think of it as the little black dress of the dessert world - it’s charm is undying.
Peanut butter eggs are one of those six ingredient, no-bake situations that we really have no excuse not to make.
Peanut butter, melted butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla are whipped together and molded into egg-like shapes. They are frozen until they are just cold enough to stand up to a bath of melted chocolate.
Ina Garten tells us that is okay to temper our chocolate via microwave and that is good enough for me.
While many would opt for semi-sweet chocolate because it has a higher melting temperature and is therefore less messy, I am a milk chocolate girl all the way when it comes to these treats. It’s worth the messy fingers to me, but you can choose your own adventure.
After the eggs are dipped, they are returned to the freezer just long enough to set the chocolate, then drizzled with white chocolate and maybe dusted with a little gold glitter sugar if you fancy it.
(I always fancy it.)
Now you can go to town. I like to eat mine on a paper towel with a spoon because I'm classy like that.
I know you still have some time before that joyous Sunday, but there’s no harm in making a “test-batch” for now, right?
Peanut Butter Eggs
makes eight eggs
1 cup smooth peanut butter*
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of kosher salt
3 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
sprinkles or colored sugar, optional
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and melted butter. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, slowly incorporate the confectioner's sugar. Once the mixture is smooth, beat in vanilla extract and salt.
Use a 1-ounce spring-loaded ice cream scoop to portion out the eggs. Shape into eggs and lay the eggs out onto the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes, until very cold. While the eggs are chilling, prepare the chocolate.
Place the milk or semisweet chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for thirty seconds. Stir the chocolate with a spatula and then return to the microwave for an additional thirty seconds. Repeat this process, stirring well each time, until the chocolate is smooth. Repeat with the white chocolate.
Use a fork to gently but quickly dip each egg into the melted milk or semisweet chocolate, shaking gently to remove the excess chocolate so that the eggs are evenly coated. Place the eggs in the freezer for 5 minutes, then drizzle with the white chocolate and dust with sprinkles or gold sugar.
Freeze for an additional ten minutes; until the chocolate has fully set. Enjoy straight from the pan, or cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Enjoy!
*You will want to avoid certain brands of natural peanut butter as they can tend to be very oily and grainy. We are looking for the ultra smooth peanut butter here - the kind your mom used to spread on your sandwiches. You can find brands of this Jiffy-like peanut butter that are still considered “natural” and that are free of unsavory additives.