I am the resident fat kid, although I really no longer dig sweets as a child I had a
little tremendous amount of fudge pudge. Easter candy was clearly something I loved. (along with anything else that wasn’t nailed down.) Instead of a lot of candy, my basket usually had little odds and ends in it. Toys, clothes, cassettes, (remember those?) or whatever we could afford. Now days I think this is a trend that seems to be picking up especially with the eco-healthy-hip Momma community. My stepmom always and still does make peanut butter eggs, and coconut eggs every Easter. Sometimes she still even makes chocolate covered pretzels.
My husband loves the coconut eggs but my kids HATE coconut as well as many, many nuts or “crunchy nut like stuff.” As I do like passing on traditions I have gotten my kids some candy every year but mostly they get tidbits and toys. Every year I do a little less. Why? They don’t need more stuff. If they really want a book or game, I buy the book or game they want. Connor wants chocolate, Riley wants fruity-taffy-chewy things. That’s what they get, plus I make a few sweet somethings from “scratch.”
Riley is allergic to most nuts so experimenting with nut butters can be troublesome. This round I used 4 varieties of nut & seed spreads, tahini, almond butter, sunbutter and even a little peanut butter for familiarity. I bet cashew butter or nutella would be unbelievable but I wanted my boys to have a treat, not an ER visit. This can easily be made with whatever is on hand, whatever is your favorite. If I could go back and erase something it would probably be the almond butter. I’m still not digging it because its somewhat bitter with an odd aftertaste. Luckily the weebles didn’t pick up on it. Connor was a slow sale, but what Riley eats he will too! Goodness greatness, these times fly. I’m happy to see such simple treats make them feel extra special and loved.
Homemade Candy, Not-Just-The-Usual Peanut Butter Cups
I’m pretty sure this is the same way my stepmom makes the candies. She has told me 100 times but I never remember. One of Connors favorite candies are peanut butter cups. Once on the news or Dr. whats-his-face I saw that peanut butter candies are some of the best of the worst food choices. If your going to eat candy the peanut butter candies are more bang for your buck so to speak. Your getting protein from the nuts and/or seeds. In this case your getting good dark chocolate which isn’t heavily sweetened, and its rich with antioxidants. I’m pretty sure my step mom used candy coins or bark (?) that they sell at the craft store. I use good quality dark chocolate chips or whatever high % chocolate is on hand.
- 1 cup total nut and/or seed butters of choice
- Powdered sugar, as needed
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate , more if needed
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or butter
In a bowl combine nut butter and powdered sugar. Add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar up front, add more as needed until it is combined enough so that you can fairly easily roll balls that hold their shape. Place balls onto a tray lined with parchment, a silicone mat or dusted with powdered sugar. Place into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. (This just makes them easier to dip into chocolate)
In a small bowl, in the microwave or over a double boiler melt chocolate slowly with coconut oil. In a microwave its approximately 45 seconds to one minute. Once the chocolate is wet looking, use a scraper to smooth it out. When the chocolate is cool enough to handle take the balls from the freezer. If you would like them flatter, smoosh them down slightly into patties. Use two forks or any nearby children to dip the balls into the chocolate mixture. Drip off excess, resist the urge to lick your fingers. Place onto the lined tray. Allow to cool until chocolate has set. Melt more chocolate as needed.
Once set entirely: Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. I stash mine directly into the freezer. This is perfect for rationing out a few at a time. Also we kind of like them semi- “freezie.”
If your hesitant to do the powdered sugar thing try making fruit and nut mix and dipping it in chocolate! Cashew Cookie balls are already a stellar sweet treat, dip it in chocolate and woot! Nom, nom, nom!
Homemade Nut Butter- If you have a food processor you can make your own nut and/or seed mixture. This prevents you from having to add a lot of sugar. Prepared sunbutter, almond butter and tahini for instance are fairly thin when purchased prepared. From experience I have learned that natural peanut butter, homemade or even from the store is always much thicker than all of the new “butters” that I’m trying.
I always make my own peanut butter without any added oil, when warm it is perfect consistency and it rarely separates. To make your own nut butter simply roast soaked raw
peanuts until they are golden. (Once you smell them they are about ready. Don’t leave them unattended, no one likes burnt nuts.) Place into a food processor and process until smooth. This can take up to 10 minutes. When it makes a “thwap, thwap, thwap” sound this is usually when its finished. That’s it.