Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs - ☺♥

Easter Eggs

Marie provided these recipes and she made all of these chocolate eggs … and they were great! I have modified the recipes with more detail and more modern procedures to assure success.

The three recipes below all use the same dipping procedure for the chocolate coating. You may choose to vary the mixture of chocolates, milk and dark, to what pleases you best. Typically coconut eggs are coated with dark chocolate, while peanut butter eggs are coated with milk chocolate. Fruit and nut eggs are good with a mixture of both types of chocolate.

You may or may not have the recommended brands of chocolate described in the coating/dipping procedure. If that is the case you may substitute using either Lindt® or Ghirardelli® high quality, high cacao content chocolate bars, noting that following that method is quite expensive. You are far better off ordering excellent quality chocolate in advance in bulk 11 pound blocks. I recommend the Callebaut® NV845 milk chocolate and one of their semi-sweet dark chocolate choices perfect for dipping, like No 811. You can buy the bulk chocolate blocks online via Amazon® to Worldwide Chocolates® with free shipping for roughly $5 to $8 per pound, depending on specific type of chocolate, and that is a terrific savings for a vastly superior chocolate. Leftover/excess blocks of chocolate are best stored vacuum sealed in a dark cool place to keep them perfectly fresh for later use ... even two years later!

Coconut Eggs:

½ cup of butter

8 oz. of cream cheese

2, one pound boxes of confectioners sugar

14 oz. of shredded sweetened coconut

1/2 tsp. (or more) of coconut flavoring extract

2 tsp. of vanilla

Melt the butter and the cream cheese in a large saucepan on low heat. Turn off the heat. Add the sugar, coconut, coconut flavoring extract and vanilla and mix thoroughly. You will find that mixing using your hands is the easiest way to blend all the ingredients once the sugar has been incorporated into the butter and cream cheese mixture. Put the mixture into a shallow serving dish and cover it with plastic wrap.

Chill the mixture ½ to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Form the mixture into eggs about two inches long and roughly one inch in diameter in the middle and place them on waxed paper covered cookie sheets, slightly flattening the bottoms.

Dip the eggs in melted chocolate as described below.

Chocolate Coating Procedure:

Melt a mixture of one and one half to two pounds of small (roughly 1/2"x1/2"x1/4") pieces of Scharfenberger® or Callebaut® High Cacao Dipping Chocolate (Milk and/or Dark), gradually and carefully using a microwave oven on high heat in multiple steps with intermediate stirring/mixing, using a two to three inch deep, six to eight inch wide microwave safe plastic bowl. Do not use a narrow top/deep bowl as that will make the dipping process far more difficult. Do not use a glass or china bowl as they can easily overheat and destroy the chocolate.

First and foremost, reserve about 20 percent of the chocolate either grated or in very small pieces, like shavings. It will be added later to the melted chocolate described below to seed the chocolate for tempering.

For the other 80 percent of the chocolate, the heating period(s), followed by stirring and temperature checking are: one minute, then 30 seconds, then 10 seconds, then if necessary, additional periods of only 5 seconds, with thorough stirring after each heating period. Aim for a temperature of 108 degrees F to melt the chocolate but do not exceed a temperature of 110 degrees F. Use a good instant/quick read thermometer and careful stirring/mixing to assure an even and correct temperature throughout the melted chocolate. I saw a candy maker use a flat paddle as a stirrer so I tried it and found it to be perfect as chocolate that would cling to a spoon and be hard to remove during heating is easily scraped from a flat paddle stirrer back into the bowl.

Now mix in half of the reserved chocolate and stir very well until it is melted. You should notice the mixture becoming thicker as the reserved chocolate melts during stirring. When the temperature drops to 98 degrees F then add the remainder of the reserved chocolate and stir until it is melted. What you have done is seed the melted chocolate with crystals from the reserved chocolate and that will, along with reduction in temperature to below 94 degrees F re-temper the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool to 90 degrees F. This is aided by additional stirring. If the temperature drops below 85 degrees F prior to or during dipping then you may very briefly (5 seconds) microwave it and stir thoroughly, but try not to exceed 90 degrees F.

Dip the eggs into the melted chocolate individually to coat them, then put them on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet and let them rest until they have cooled and the coating is solid, or alternatively follow the "shock" procedure described below. Typically, small chocolate dipped candy is removed from the bowl of melted chocolate using an inexpensive plastic tool with a thin loop at the bottom. Larger pieces like the Easter eggs are easily handled using two wide meat forks, one in each hand, to rotate or flip the candy in the melted chocolate and then to get underneath it from both sides, lift it out of the chocolate, let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and finally transfer the coated candy to the waxed paper.

If you have freezer space you can "shock" the chocolate by putting the cookie sheet with the coated eggs into the deep freeze for 15 minutes immediately following coating. That procedure will help to produce a glossy surface. Then wrap each egg individually with plastic wrap and put them into a container with a top that seals well, then store the container in a cool, dark place.

Eat the eggs within one week for maximum quality. If refrigerated they will last up to three weeks.

Peanut Butter Eggs:

½ cup of butter

8 to 10 oz. of cream cheese

2, one pound boxes of confectioners sugar

2 1/2 to 3 cups of peanut butter

2 tsp. of vanilla

6 oz. of white chocolate

Melt the butter and the cream cheese and the 6 ounces of white chocolate in a large saucepan on low heat. Turn off the heat. Add the sugar, peanut butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly. You may find that mixing using your hands is the easiest way to blend all the ingredients once the sugar has been incorporated into the butter and cream cheese and white chocolate mixture.

Put the mixture into a large shallow serving dish and cover it with plastic wrap and chill ½ to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Form the mixture into eggs about two inches long and one inch thick in the middle and put them on waxed paper covered cookie sheets with the bottoms slightly flattened.

Use the chocolate coating procedure shown above for the coconut eggs.

Fruit and Nut Eggs:

½ cup of butter

8 oz. of cream cheese

2, one pound boxes of confectioners sugar

1 cup of Chopped Nuts (walnut halves, roasted almonds or pecan halves chopped into roughly four pieces each)

1 cup of cut Maraschino Cherries (each cherry cut into four pieces and all pieces pressed between paper towels to eliminate wetness) or 1/2 cup of cherry pieces and 1/2 cup of crushed canned pineapple pieces processed to eliminate wetness using paper towels

2 tsp. of vanilla

Cut the cherries on a cutting board and spread the cherry pieces on a paper towel. Put another paper towel on top and press to absorb the cherry syrup into the paper towels. Fill a one cup measuring cup with the pieces. Set the cherry pieces aside. As an alternative recipe, you can instead use 1/2 cup of the cherry pieces and 1/2 cup of crushed canned pineapple pieces that have first been thoroughly de-wetted using the paper towel procedure used for the cherry pieces.

Melt the butter and cream cheese in large saucepan on low heat. Turn off the heat. Add the sugar, chopped nuts, cherry/pineapple pieces and vanilla and mix thoroughly. If the mixture is too sticky to handle then add additional powdered sugar and mix. Repeat as necessary until the mixture is not excessively sticky. Note also that you can dust your hands with corn starch to make handling of slightly sticky products easy.

Put the mixture into a serving dish and cover it with plastic wrap and chill ½ to 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Form the mixture into eggs about two inches long and one inch in diameter in the middle and put them on waxed paper covered cookie sheets with the bottoms slightly flattened. If necessary, first dust your hands with corn starch. If you find the product to be too soft to hold an egg shape during later dipping in melted chocolate then freeze the egg shaped pieces prior to dipping them in the melted chocolate.

Use the chocolate coating procedure shown above for the coconut eggs.