Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
For ease of preparation, you can mix, roll, and dip the eggs in separate stages. Simply cover and refrigerate in between. Breaking down the steps makes this somewhat tedious task quite manageable. I roll the eggs fairly small and get about 100 per batch. As mentioned, these make wonderful gifts and also freeze well, although the recipe can easily be halved. In the recipe below, I offer some helpful tips as well as details on how to temper chocolate if you prefer to purchase a high quality chocolate that requires this step. Good melting chocolate (often sold in disk shapes) works quite well though. If you live close to a Wilbur Chocolate source, it is what I use and I highly recommend (although there are many other delicious option). Wilbur offers both the melting chocolate (available in the bulk aisle at some grocery stores) and a higher quality option (available at Wilbur’s Lititz factory store and Evans in Willow Street) that requires tempering. When finished, I refrigerate the eggs and pack either in airtight containers or white craft store boxes (tied with a pretty ribbon) for gift giving. We like to eat the eggs cold; some people prefer them room temperature. Either way, they are delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar creamy peanut butter (or just over 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) butter, room temperature (I use salted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (2-pound) bag confectioner’s sugar
  • Approximately 1 pound good melting chocolate (milk or dark, according to your preference)
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients except the sugar until thoroughly combined. Then, stir in sugar, a third at a time, until completely incorporated. (I find this easiest to do with my clean hands.) Next, I form into a big rectangular block so that I can slice into equal-size pieces for rolling. At this point, you may wrap in parchment or wax paper, and then again in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to a few days.
  2. When ready to make the eggs, the dough is easiest to work with when cold. Using about a tablespoon of the mix at a time, form into oval or egg shapes, placing them on a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet as you go. When finished, you may again cover and refrigerate until you are ready to coat the eggs in chocolate.
  3. Finally, melt the chocolate in a double boiler, keeping the heat very low. Dip the eggs and remove to a parchment-lined baking sheet. I like to keep twenty or so out at a time, leaving the remaining eggs in the refrigerator. They will be easier to dip when they are cold. I have tried the utensils made for dipping chocolates, toothpicks, and any way I can think of to make this process easy and less messy! The way that has ultimately worked best for me is to use a dinner fork. I drop the egg in the chocolate, roll gently to coat, and lift it out with the fork. Hold the egg on the fork for a few seconds, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into pot, and then gently slide off the fork and onto baking sheet. If you end up with “feet”–a puddle of chocolate that pools around the egg–you can gently break this off once the chocolate hardens. My kids, however, think these are the best ones because they get more chocolate!
  4. Note: One year, I thought I would be smart and put the dipped eggs on a cooling rack figuring this was a fast, easy way to drain the excess chocolate. Don’t do it! The eggs stick to the rack, even if greased, and the bottoms will break off when removed.
  5. If you want to try tempering chocolate: I’ve had a few questions on this subject, so here is a quick how-to. I used to buy the chocolate melting disks that don’t require tempering, which is totally fine. Chocolate with a higher cocoa butter content will require this step. The main risk you run if you don’t temper it properly is that the finished chocolate looks a little streaky. It will still taste fabulous. What I do, however, is melt a portion of the chocolate at a time–maybe 8 ounces–over low heat in a double boiler. Then turn the heat off and add about a quarter cup (no need to measure, just a small handful) of chopped chocolate and stir it in. This brings the temperature back down which is how it tempers. I turn the heat back on when I need to add more chocolate or if the chocolate cools too much and starts to thicken. Repeat the process as needed, adding a little more chopped chocolate after the bigger chunks are melted.
  6. When you are melting chocolate in the microwave (which I often do when making Oreo, pretzel or salted almond bark; see website for these recipes), you can use a similar process. Just heat in 30-second intervals, stirring as you go. When all chocolate is just melted, stir in some chopped chocolate and let it melt in the heat of the already warm chocolate. I do find that the stovetop method works best for the extended process of egg dipping.
  7. Once dipped, the chocolate should be put in a cool place to set up properly. I put the baking sheets of dipped candy in the refrigerator or near a cool window to set and fully cool.
  8. Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, the eggs will keep for several weeks–if they last that long! They also freeze well.
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