Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Goodies

Once again - I'm late for a holiday. Sorry. But I made these as little Easter presents for my coworkers and I didn't want to spoil the surprise by posting them before bringing them to work. And afterwards....well, I just procrastinated.

This cute little pile of mess is "bunny chow." Love that name! And even though the Easter bunny may not eat this himself (it contains no carrots), everyone else definitely inhaled it. I doubled the batch and had a TON left over so I brought it to my family's Easter celebration. It didn't last long there.

Bunny Chow (Shugary Sweets)
2 cups pretzel sticks, broken
14 Oreo cookies, slightly broken
2 cups milk chocolate M&Ms
16 oz vanilla candy coating
2 Tbsp spring sprinkles

Note: I put my Oreos in a Ziploc bag and gave them a few good whacks with a rolling pin. Great for taking out any frustration one may have :) Also, I used almond bark for the vanilla candy coating.

In a large bowl, mix together pretzels, Oreos, and M&Ms. Melt the vanilla candy coating according to the package directions. Pour melted chocolate over the M&M mixture. Pour bunny chow onto a large piece of parchment paper on the counter top. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp spring sprinkles. Let stand about 10 minutes until hardened. Break into pieces and store in a Ziploc bag.

These sweet little cookies were my favorite of the grouping. One day, bored out of my mind with nothing to do, I believe I engorged myself on 4 or 5 of these. I was MISERABLE afterwards! But I so enjoyed them.

Easter Egg Nests (Natalie)
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups coconut
2 colors of food coloring
1 bag almond M&Ms (pastel colored - I used peanut M&Ms since I couldn't find the almond ones)

Mix the first 3 ingredients and set aside. With a mixer, cream butter and cream cheese; add sugar and almond extract, beating until fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1 cup of coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes (or until firm enough to handle). Take 1/2 cup of coconut and tint with 1-2 drops of one food color (place in a covered container, add food coloring, and shake until evenly tinted). Do the same with another 1/2 cup of coconut and the 2nd food color. Toss the tinted coconut with the remaining 1/2 cup of white coconut. Roll large tablespoons (and I mean LARGE) of dough into balls. Roll each in coconut until lightly coated. Place balls on greased cookie sheets and press 2-3 M&Ms into each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Balls  (adapted from Devi)
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
4 sheets of graham crackers (crushed)
4 Tbsp butter (melted)
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp milk
1 package of chocolate almond bark

Combine peanut butter, powdered sugar, graham crackers, butter, salt, and milk. Mix it together and make sure everything is well combined. (This will be super dry but it will help if you want to shape these into eggs like Devi does. I just stuck with a rounded form.) Form into balls about the size of a golf ball then shape into any form you want (Easter eggs, hearts, etc). If the mixture is cracking while you form it, add another Tbsp of milk. Put them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for 45 minutes. Towards the end of the 45 minutes, melt the chocolate almond bark according to the package directions. Dip the eggs into the chocolate using either a fork or toothpick and place on parchment paper. Before the chocolate sets, you can put sprinkles on or you can wait until the chocolate hardens and use some colored chocolate to make pretty designs.

Hope y'all had a great Easter and maybe next year, you can enjoy some of these treats!

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