Sunday, February 27, 2011

Like Cadbury Eggs But Hate the Chemicals? Make Some!

I love Cadbury Eggs. I mean, I usually buy enough each spring so I can hoard them. I hade them everywhere - kitchen cupboards, the shelves on my desk, waaaay back in the closet... you get the picture, right? Well, last year, as I was stealthily stuffing my face so the kids wouldn't hear, I happened to turn the package over to check out the nutrition information. Now, let me just say that I am one of those shoppers you inevitably end up stuck behind in those ever-shrinking grocery store aisles who is carefully reading ingredients and nutrition labels from every can and box she comes across. But there are some things I just don't look at - Pepsi, Oreos, and Cheez-Its are just a few. Included in that list is candy. I have a sweet tooth and I don't want my enjoyment of the rare 3-pound bag of gummy bears or Cadbury eggs to be ruined with the guilt I'd feel knowing just what I'm putting into my body (and my kids' if they happen to see the chocolate smeared on the side of my mouth and insist on their fair share!)

Well, I'm happy to announce that I can now have my Cadbury eggs and eat them, too - sans guilt! There is this Web site that everyone should check out. It's called Instructables and has instructions on how to do everything. I've used the site to lean how to fold paper for cards that pop up flowers when you open them, make a solar oven out of cardboard and tin foil to dry fruit, and get ideas for pranks to pull on my husband for April Fool's Day. When I saw the "Instructable" for Cadbury eggs, I just had to check it out! It looked so easy - and the ingredients were all ones I can pronounce! I'm not going to relate all of the instructions because the author, "scoochamaroo", has done so beautifully. I did make these, and they're perfect! You could do a blind taste test and not know the difference. See? Chemicals aren't necessary to make everything taste better! Here's the list of ingredients and tools you'll need to get started:
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup** (don't worry - it's not the high-fructose stuff you're trying to avoid!)
  • 1/4 c. butter @ room temp (that's 1/2 stick of the real stuff - unsalted)
  • 3 c. powdered sugar (hey, I didn't say it was healthy, just not as bad for you as the ones you buy in the stores!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (try to get the pure stuff - the amount of alcohol, spread out, isn't going to make your kids drunks)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I used Kosher)
  • yellow food coloring
  • 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (get the milk chocolate ones if you want these to taste more like the real thing)
  • Egg Chocolate Mold ($2)
  • Parchment paper (don't try foil or waxed paper - trust me when I tell you it does NOT work!)
**Now, if you're really not liking the corn syrup, you can make your own alternative (I ran out of corn syrup and used this - it works wonderfully!) You'll need: 2 c. sugar, 3/4 c. water, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, pinch of salt. Mix it all together in a large pan (it's going to "grow" during cooking), bring to a boil, simmer with a lid on for 3 minutes, remove cover and cook until reaches 236 degrees Fahrenheit (soft ball stage), stir often. Cool and keep in a tightly-covered container (canning jars work great.) It'll make 2 cups, so maybe you'll want to use the rest to try your hand at fudge or caramels?

Since I've made these using the Instructable, I have a few tips for you:
  • You add the salt to the powdered sugar mixture (it's not in the instructions)
  • I highly suggest using twice the amount of chocolate chips and double-coating the molds. The sides of the eggs on my first batch were too thin and we had a mess when we ate them!
  • Put the filling in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. My second batch was in the fridge overnight and it was much easier to work with. Oh, and I highly suggest NOT having a toddler help you with this! Yeah, just use your imagination - it happened.
  • Put the molded, joined eggs in the fridge to set up
Good luck! Please let me know if you've tried these. I'd love to hear your thoughts, tips, etc.

Here's the link, once again:
Instructable for Cadbury Eggs


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