To me, Easter is simply a big-eating, hard sleeping, family-filled long weekend. Inevitably (and regardless of the weather) it’s also when we reclaim the outdoors and move the Christmas tree to the compost heap from where it landed when we launched it off the deck December 31st.
We have a fledgling Easter tradition, which we observed this past weekend. For three years now we have welcomed spring and gotten ready for Easter by making eggs. Not spring spheres. Not holiday eggs. Old fashioned, chocolate-covered sugar sweet loveliness Easter eggs.
It’s a family recipe, and it’s very simple. Which is key, as the tradition includes our nieces and their kids; our great nieces and nephews. All totalled we had six kids rampaging around, one just learning to roll over, a couple dads and a slightly unimpressed cat. All you need is:
– 1/2 cup salted butter
– 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
– 1tsp vanilla
– 5.5 cups of icing sugar
– chocolate chips and butter (to melt and coat the eggs with)
– food colouring
Blend the butter, vanilla and milk. This might make your poor hand mixer smoke a bit, if you don’t have the butter soft enough before you begin. Slowly add portions of the icing sugar in, until it’s all blended together into a dry-play dough consistency. Now the fun part!
We sat the six kids at the kitchen table and gave them a bowl of icing sugar. We told them to take a pinch and ensure their table-working space was covered in it. Tell anyone under the age of 12 they have licence to make a mess, you’ve got happy kids on hand. I think that was my favourite part, watching the serious effort put forth by the kids as they covered the table top with broad strokes of icing sugar.
Next they each got a lump of the egg stuff. Flattened into a bit of a bowl, a couple squirts of food colouring and they were off mixing colours. The batter turns out vibrantly, and my niece even made purple by mixing red and blue (everything you learned in kindergarten…). All that is required is an egg-ish shape. No matter if they are all different sizes. No problem if some gets eaten along the way.
Place eggs on waxed paper on a cookie sheet, and freeze them. This step is key. You can’t coat them in chocolate unless they are set. If you’re a grown up and have a double boiler, melt chocolate and a bit of butter (no science here, but don’t get it too hot, I learned you can burn chocolate with boiling water, who knew?). If you’re like me, a neophyte kitchen dweller, plunk a silver mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water and use that to melt your chocolate. Coat each egg in chocolate. It helps to use two forks to keep the eggs moving in and out of the chocolate. You will feel a bit Edward Scissorhands but it really is the best way. Freeze eggs again to get chocolate to stick. Haul out at Easter, slice and reveal the yummy delight inside!
Disclaimer: Meant to be eaten in small doses. Can cause sugar coma. Slightly addictive. Best with milk. Not intended as sole source of daily nutrients.
Traditions are part of the happy childhood I am working to weave together for my kids. I love being able to host parties like egg-making where pandemonium reigns and family comes together. The mess and what we actually do comes second to the kids feeling excited and included. Here’s hoping your holiday weekend includes sweetness of the intangible, as well as tangible kind.