April 16, 2011
By now, you may know that I don’t do dairy or eggs, and chances are you know some other vegans. You may be even more likely to know someone who is lactose-intolerant, or who just finds that dairy products don’t agree with them.
What if your children can’t have most of the candy that you find for sale at Easter time? What if they can’t have eggs? What do you do for them to keep them from feeling left out when all the other kids are eating Cadbury eggs and hunting for colored boiled eggs? How about making some special easy homemade Easter chocolates for them or with them?
It’s a stretch for me to even say these candies are homemade, because all you really do is melt chocolate. First, choose a chocolate that’s made without milk products; Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips are one example.
Then, find one of these Easter candy/chocolate molds. If you plan ahead you could order it online, but if you have a cake supply store nearby like I do, you can find one there. Craft stores carry some of these, but you usually don’t find a very broad selection there.
I’m semi-obsessed with these molds. You fill the little cavities with a small amount of melted chocolate or hard candy syrup, and refrigerate for an hour or so til completely set. When you tip it upside down to unmold, you have the cutest little things ever. I promise you people will be impressed and think you’re some kind of culinary genius, when all you did was melt chocolate and buy a $2 mold!
For Easter, I chose this mold with bunnies, duckies, Easter eggs and lambs. I like to put the chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup, and microwave them until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. It won’t take very long; less than 2 minutes usually depending on how much chocolate you’re working with at once. I’d recommend a small amount in each batch so that it doesn’t start to cool and thicken before you get it all into the molds.
I spoon the chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle to fill the molds, but you could just use a small spoon to do it. When all the cavities are filled, you need to carefully smack the filled mold on the countertop to settle the chocolate into all the little nooks and crannies. You also want any trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface. It might take a few smacks to get the job done.
After unmolding, this is what you have. You can see that I got in too big of a hurry, and didn’t get all the air bubbles out of my candies. No worries though! We’re going to wrap each chocolate in a foil square, and the bubbles won’t show.
I found gold and silver 4″ foil squares at my craft store, but I’ve seen pastel-colored ones at the cake supply store that would have been even cuter.
You could sprinkle these wrapped chocolates into an Easter basket, or you could use them as little Easter gifts or party favors. Remember the origami boxes I made for the painted glass marble cross magnets? Let’s use those to give these chocolates away.
Add some pretty paper shred or Easter grass into the box, fill with the chocolates, and voila! You have an adorable little gift that is handmade with love, but no eggs or dairy!