The weather here in Wisconsin has been teasing us with the appearance and disappearance of Spring for a couple of weeks now.
We went on our first community egg hunt today, and I saw several kids wearing snowsuits. At least there is no snow on the ground. Weather for tomorrow’s hunt looks a little better, but not great. And worse yet, while the weather looks great during the week, it looks like the “real Easter bunny” might freeze it’s tail off when it’s hiding the kids’ treats on the actual Easter, next weekend. Oh how I’d love for it to be a warm spring day. But there’s not much more we can do other than dress for the weather and enjoy it anyway. And make treats. And eat them.
Last year I went a little crazy making Easter treats. This year I stuck with the basics, and made only my favorite – Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs. Now I know what you’re thinking – “Didn’t you already post a recipe for those last year?” Why yes I did. But these ones are revamped. Last year I made the recipe with graham cracker crumbs, like many of the recipes I found online suggested. While I was happy with the results, I wasn’t completely satisfied. I could taste the graham and feel the texture of the whole wheat. They just weren’t quite close enough to Reese’s.
This time around I made a few changes. The first thing I did was to completely replace the graham crumbs with ground peanuts. This change makes these eggs 100% gluten free, which was not something I could say about the previous recipe. I also cut back on the butter in the peanut butter filling, since I didn’t feel that it added anything to the recipe. I also slightly cut back on the coconut oil added to the chocolate, due to problems I was having with melting. Truth be told, the coconut oil could be completely optional – it’s only purpose is to make dipping the eggs a little easier. Aside from that, it still increases melting in the finished product and adds fat and calories.
I found the peanut butter dough a little easier to work with this time, probably due to the reduced amount of butter used. It was just a little firmer, which made it easier to roll, cut and dip. However, it did still need to be frozen between each step.
How thick you roll your dough and how large of a cookie cutter you use will greatly affect the number of eggs (or whatever shape you decide to make), so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that the size of your eggs will greatly impact their nutritional content – and we’re NOT talking about low calorie treats here. In fact, because peanuts are higher in fat (and calories) than graham crumbs, this recipe makes for some pretty calorie dense (and high fat) treats. Eat sparingly.
Even with the changes I’ve made to keep these firmer and less melt-prone, I’d still keep them refrigerated or frozen if you know it’s going to be warm or if you’re not going to eat them for awhile. I guess that’s one good thing about having a cold forecast for Easter. At least we won’t be finding the chocolatey treats that I’ve slaved for hours on completely liquefied in their plastic eggs at the Easter egg hunt!
Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts (unsalted)
- 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter (Jif is my favorite – don’t try to use natural peanut butter here)
- 2 Tablespoons butter (softened, salted or unsalted, or margarine)
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 10 ounces chocolate (dark or milk – your preference)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
- Process peanuts in a food processor (or coffee grinder in batches) until you reach a medium grind, like coarse sand.
- Add ground peanuts, peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar to a medium bowl. Stir together until completely mixed.
- Place peanut butter mixture on a sheet of wax or parchment paper and place another sheet of paper on top. Roll with a rolling pin or press evenly with the palms of your hands to a thickness of about 1/2″. Place mixture (still between the wax paper) onto a baking sheet and into the freezer to harden.
- When peanut butter mixture is hardened, cut into egg shapes (or any shape desired) using a cookie cutter. Re-roll peanut butter scraps as needed, refreezing if the mixture becomes too soft to cut. Place cut shapes back in freezer.
- While waiting for the peanut butter shapes to re-harden, begin melting the chocolate. Place chocolate and coconut oil (if using) in a double boiler or small glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Melt chocolate, stirring often. When chocolate is melted, remove from heat.
- Dip peanut butter shapes in chocolate with a fork, letting excess drip off into bowl. Place back onto parchment paper. Once all eggs are coated, place back in freezer to set.
- Once the chocolate is completely hardened, transfer to an airtight container or bag. Store in fridge or freezer as they will get quite soft at room temperature.
Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs Nutrition Notes:
Nutrition information will vary depending on how many eggs you make, which will depend on the size of the cookie cutter(s) you use and how thick you roll the peanut butter dough. These treats are gluten free, and can be made vegan with dairy free margarine like Smart Balance.