You can keep your jelly beans, your Peeps, your malted milk Easter eggs. But put a coconut cream egg covered in dark chocolate in front of me and I can’t resist. Since I’m likely to eat more than I should, I don’t make these on an annual basis. But it’s been more than five years since I last succumbed to the temptation, so I thought it was about time to give in to my weakness.
When I was first married, my mother-in-law used to make these as a fund-raiser for her church, along with peanut-butter filled eggs. They weren’t decorated like the ones above, and you don’t have to go to that trouble either. They’re equally delicious plain. But if you have the time and will, it’s not so hard to do with a little royal icing (beat an egg white with some confectioner’s sugar until it’s stiff), a pastry bag and a few basic pastry bag tips.
It’s best to make the coconut egg mixture a day ahead of time and let it sit in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Otherwise, they’ll be too soft to handle and they’ll melt in the warm chocolate. In fact, it’s even better if you make the mixture two days before dipping in chocolate. One day to just firm up as a mixture. Then roll them into egg shapes and let them firm up overnight in the refrigerator before dipping.
I don’t have any special equipment for dipping things in chocolate. I just use a meat thermometer to make sure the chocolate is tempered properly. Click here for information on that (and for making candied orange peel, which is also phenomenal dipped in chocolate). I find the easiest way to handle these is with two forks, wiping the excess from one egg with the other fork.
Place the dipped chocolate eggs on some waxed paper. It’s not necessary to store them in the fridge, but they should be stored in a cool place. Let them harden overnight if you want to decorate them with writing or flowers and leaves.
Now the reward: If you’ve got guests coming for Easter, you can personalize each egg. It’s also a preventive measure in forcing me not to eat the ones with someone else’s name on them. But does that mean I get to eat not only the “Linda” egg, but also the “Ciao” and the “Chow” egg?
And what about those other ones - “Buona” ,“Pasqua”, “Happy”, “Easter” and all those without names? Hmmm – I think they’re totally up for grabs.
Chocolate-Covered Coconut Easter Eggs
(makes 3 to 4 dozen, depending on the size)
1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup flaked coconut
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
about 12 ounces dark chocolate
Mix the butter, coconut, sugar, vanilla and cheese together until smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Shape into eggs and for best results, refrigerate overnight again. Dip into melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to solidify. Store in cool place.