Happily facing the joys of Easter or Passover but need a little inspiration to spark the holiday table? How about candy? So much effort is spent on traditional holiday meals and preparation, it is can be a fun diversion to think about everybody’s favorite treat at the end of it.
Here are three easy, different and delicious candy recipes that can do duty as dessert, lunchbox surprises or homemade holiday gifts. The Peeps, that familiar and addictive marshmallow yummy, takes on a new look dressed in chocolate.
Ingberlach is a traditional Jewish homemade candy flavored with ginger and honey. It can contain nuts and other ingredients and is reminiscent of a sticky, chewy caramel popcorn cluster. This version adds crunch with crumbled matzoh and chopped hazelnuts, and pop with plenty of spices. All you do is boil the ingredients for 20 minutes, then pour it onto a baking sheet. When it’s cool enough to handle, roll it into balls.
The vegan chocolate eggs are enormously versatile for decorating and a good solution for personalized gifts.
This recipe comes from Babble.com and is fun with kids.
1 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 C white chocolate chips (use real chocolate kind)
pastel polka-dot sprinkles
2-3 packages of bunny Peeps
Melt the white chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl. To ensure that your chocolate is melted without becoming singed, pop the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, then remove it and stir. Return to the microwave for 30 seconds, then remove it and stir again. Continue doing this until the chocolate is smooth and melted, but not warm to the touch.
Dip the bottom half of the Peeps into the melted white chocolate, covering the entire bottom half of their body, up to their little necks. Place the dipped Peeps onto a piece of parchment and allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely.
Melt the dark chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl. Dip the Peeps diagonally on the left side, then on the right side of their bellies. Return to parchment and allow to cool and harden.
Spoon some of the remaining chocolate into a ziptop bag. Cut a very small corner from the bag and pipe a small amount of chocolate on the back of a polka-dot sprinkle. Gently press sprinkle into place as a “button.” Pipe a bowtie just above the sprinkle button. Return to the parchment and allow to cool completely before serving.
SPICED HAZELNUT INGBERLACH
About 45 minutes start to finish and so easy.
1 1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C orange juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp dry ground ginger
1/4 tsp kosher salt
5 sheets (5 oz) matzo, finely crumbled
1 C chopped hazelnuts
Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in the matzoh and hazelnuts. Cook until golden brown and thick, about another 10 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to cool until easily handled, then scoop up the mixture and, using lightly oiled hands, roll into 1/2-inch balls. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers. Makes 8 dozen candies.
VEGAN EASTER EGGS
Quick, tasty and ready to be customized
1 8-oz. package nondairy cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3 C powdered sugar
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Decorations, e.g., chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa, toasted flaked coconut
Beat the nondairy cream cheese in a mixing bowl until it is smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until it is well blended. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and mix well. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls or egg shapes and roll them in the nuts, cocoa, or coconut. Store the finished chocolates in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 5 dozen chocolates
Roll egg-shaped chocolate in chopped nuts and/or powdered sugar.
Fill a themed mold with the chocolate and refrigerate.
Let the chocolate to cool in a thin layer instead of a ball, then cut out your favorite shape with cookie cutters.
Decorate egg-shaped chocolate with dyed coconut. (Add a few drops of food coloring to water. Soak coconut for a few minutes in the water, then remove and allow to dry completely before using to decorate.
Use plastic Easter eggs to get your desired shape, scoop out the center, and fill with peanut butter, nuts, or another favorite candy. Close the plastic egg and refrigerate until both sides are firm and have joined together.
Cover egg-shaped chocolate with holiday color foils or ribbons.
Cover egg-shaped chocolate with vegan nonpareils or another small vegan candy.
Make the eggs with white chocolate chips (make sure they are real chocolate).