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Easter Candy

Beep, Beep, Peep!

Image courtesy of FreeFunEaster.com

Well, folks, it happened. We aren’t even officially into the Easter season, and one of our friends has already sent us the CUTEST little marshmallow Peeps creation we’ve ever seen. And for as adorable and delicious as it looks, the directions are remarkably simple! Did we mention it’s also a rather cheap recipe that involves no cooking or baking, so you can easily involve the kiddos in the process? Yep – pretty much Easter recipe perfection we’re working with here! So what exactly will you be making? Start your engines for Easter Bunny Racecars!

Here’s what you’ll need to make the sweetest little speedsters this side of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as taken from FreeFunEaster.com

Bunny Marshmallow Peeps

      ♦ Large Marshmallows

          ♦ Mini Pretzels

              ♦ Cream-Filled Cakes

                  ♦ Decorator Icing

                      ♦ Frosting

                          ♦ Sprinkles

                            Before we get into the directions for these, we feel it’s necessary to understand that the miniature pretzel will serve as the steering wheel. See the picture above to really take in just how impossibly adorable that is! OK, we can move on now.

                            The first step involves cutting a small rectangle from the top of the cream-filled cake of your choosing. Since you won’t be using this removed part anywhere else in the recipe, be sure to put it to good use by eating it! The space provided by cutting away the rectangle of cake will serve as a driver’s seat for your Bunny Marshmallow Peeps, which you will further secure to the cake with a dab of white decorator icing.

                            Once the Peep is settled into his or her seat, use the decorator icing once again as ‘glue’ for the mini pretzel steering wheel and marshmallow tires.

                            Ready to get really creative? That’s where the frosting and sprinkles come into the equation. Make each car unique by getting daringly decorative with these two ingredients. Always wanted your initial on the hood of your car? Now is your chance without worrying about resale value!

                            Part Two: Fill 3 Easter Baskets for $20 or Less Per Basket!

                            In our last blog post we let you know we were working on a bit of a candy project, which like so many things at Blair, turned into a competition! After all the entries were in, we built the following ‘virtual Easter basket.’ It’s up to you to make our example a reality, of course! Below is everything you’ll need to fill 3 Easter Baskets with oodles of candy awesomeness and keep your costs below $20 per basket. What do you think? What would you skip or add? Let us know in the comments!

                            Non-Candy Supplies You’ll Need: Easter baskets, decorative Easter grass (basket filler/foundation), Easter or Spring-themed small sandwich/snack bags. Note: These small plastic bags can be found at stores like Dollar Tree and Target, and are often put out by major brands such as Ziploc. Easter grass can also be found at stores such as these.

                            The Candy You’ll Need:

                            (3) Packs of Marshmallow Peep Bunnies$1.00 each

                            (2) 10 oz. Bags of Just Born Jelly Beans – $1.40 each

                            (2) 8.5 oz. Bags of Hershey’s Easter Kisses – $3.05 each

                            (1) 6-pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – $5.00

                            (2) 10 oz. Bags of Whoppers Eggs$2.35

                            (1) 32 oz. Bag of Gummi Fried Eggs – $7.00

                            (1) 20 oz. Bag of Gummy Butterflies – $3.85

                            (3) Chocolate Bunnies – $1.00 each

                            (1) 6-pack of Easter Kit Kats – $3.75

                            (1) 6-pack of Hershey’s Bunnies$4.75

                            How To Arrange Everything: Once you’ve filled your Easter baskets with straw and have them ready for the fabulous fill, gather together all your bags of unwrapped candy (jelly beans, gummi fried eggs, Whoppers Eggs and gummy butterflies.) These are the candies you’ll be putting into the Easter-themed snack baggies for presentation and cleanliness’ sake. All of the other candies on the list can be placed right in the basket as they are individually wrapped. Just for fun, I like to ‘drop’ my Hershey Kisses in last, after I’ve filled the basket with the larger pieces. They tend to fall about nicely, filling in any gaps, making your already awesomely-full basket appear even more full!

                            Part One: Buy Candy in Bulk for the Biggest, Sweetest Easter Baskets!

                            There’s no getting around the fact that putting together a truly special Easter basket can be a costly venture. While individual pieces of candy can very much be an affordable everyday indulgence, when the task at hand calls for an abundance of sweets and treats, the total tally can be surprisingly high. Luckily for you, we came up with a super simple way to stretch your candy dollar further without leaving the basket with more Easter grass than goodies. And that way is to buy candy in bulk!

                            Buying candy in bulk makes the most sense for those that will be filling multiple baskets. If you only have one child and you aren’t making a basket for yourself or someone else, it might not be the best fit for you. That said, it can still work out quite well if you like to keep a variety of candy on hand for your own enjoyment throughout the year. Sandwich bags go a long way toward keeping candy fresh!

                            Instead of just talking about how buying candy in bulk can be beneficial to your pocketbook, we decided to whip up a sample sweets scenario for someone filling 3 Easter baskets. You can, of course, feel free to customize the candy options to better suit the recipients, but we’ve got our eye on some popular favorites. This list is still in the works as we’re all vying for our personal favorites to be included! What we can tell you is there will be 10 candies included, and the candy cost per basket will be less than $20. We hope you’ll check back to see which ‘Top 10’ we decided on! (I am not caving on Gummi Fried Eggs. They’re eggs! It’s an Easter basket! I will win…)

                            Chocolate Easter Eggs Have Hatched at Blair Candy!

                            We couldn’t be hippity-hoppity-happier that Easter is well on its way! Here at BlairCandy.com, we’re always sure to stock a superior selection of Easter candy. You can count on us for the freshest jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and other mouthwatering must-haves. But it’s the most decidedly Easter-y candy of all that gets our taste buds talking loudest – chocolate Easter eggs!

                            The world of chocolate Easter eggs offers something special for everyone’s preferences. If you like them on the little side, Cadbury Mini Eggs make an addictive option. I actually count them among my Top 5 favorite chocolate candies of all time, and wish they were available year-round! A perfectly petite egg of chocolate is dressed in a sweet, slightly speckled, pastel candy shell, and the result is simple, velvety perfection with a touch of texture.

                            When I’m craving something a little larger with a bit more crunch, I reach for Zitner’s Butter Krak Eggs. If you’ve never had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into one of these marvelous creations, don’t waste any more time! They’re buttery, coconutty, and wrapped in divine dark chocolate decadence. You might just want to put a few on a plate and call it dinner!

                            Once upon a time, two ingredients came together that had never been paired before, and since that magical moment, the candy and dessert world has never been the same. That palate-pleasing power couple is none other than Chocolate and Peanut Butter! While chocolate and peanut butter taste great any time of year, there’s something about them coming together in an egg shape that makes them even more amazing. And if a chocolate peanut butter egg is what you’re after, we’ve got you covered! Blair offers Zitner’s Peanut Butter Eggs, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, Lerro Peanut Butter Eggs, and my personal favorite, Gardners Peanut Butter Meltaway Eggs. Of course I don’t like to play favorites, though, so I just eat them all. 😉

                            Do We Eat Too Much Easter Candy? Never!!

                            We had the pleasure of coming across a hop-tastic Easter candy infographic posing the question “Do We Eat Too Much Easter Candy?” Sure, many of us nosh on our fair share of scrumptious candy on Easter morning…and Easter afternoon…and Easter night, but candy is all about moderation. Like all things, enjoy candy throughout the year in normal quantities, and when it comes to candy-rich holidays, like Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween, treat yourself to all the seasonal candies till your heart’s content. Life’s short, so sweeten it with candy 😉

                            The candy facts we crave:

                            • 16 billion Jelly Beans are created just for Easter
                            • 90 million chocolate bunnies are produced each year for Easter
                            • 4 million Peeps and Chicks are produced for Easter – each day!
                            • Each household spends around $131 on Easter candy

                            Do you concur with these candylicious numbers? How much do you typically spend on Easter candy? What kind of Easter treats do you usually choose- Jelly Beans, Peeps, chocolate bunnies, Reeses Eggs, etc…

                            Share it with us by leaving a comment!

                            Easter by the Numbers

                            Displayed on Care2.com, created by DegreeSearch.org, and credited to Robert Banh

                            Edible Easter Eggs With A Surprise Inside!

                            We recently saw a great Rice Krispies commercial with the fabulous suggestion of making moldable Rice Krispie treats into egg shapes, and then stuffing them with Easter candy goodies!  The idea called for tasty Easter M&M’s, but we had a few suggestions of our own:

                            – How about some pastel Skittles? Pick your favorite Easter colors.

                            – Not a fan of chocolate? Gummy bears, Swedish fish or Sour Patch Kids may do the trick.

                            – One of our very favorites is peanut butter, so bring on the Reese’s Pieces, please.

                            – Tic-tacs will also fit nicely, and are a fresh alternative to traditional Easter candy.

                            Candy Easter Eggs

                            – For the sports-oriented, make larger Krispie eggs and stuff them which chocolate baseballs, soccer balls, basketballs, or footballs. We have them all!

                            – Of course, you can never go wrong with a long-time favorite, Easter jelly beans!

                            – Do your loved ones have a sour tooth instead of a sweet one? Nerds are the answer.

                            – Want to taste the rainbow? Stuff your surprise eggs with Skittles.

                            Let your imagination run wild, and let the creative ideas flow. Fun and easy project for kids, too! (NOTE: Always be aware of choking hazards.)

                            Don’t forget to leave a special surprise Krispie egg for the Easter Bunny himself!

                            Make Easy Easter Baskets Stuffed With Personality

                            Easter Candy BasketsGet innovative with this year’s Easter baskets! Our Bunny’s helpers put together a list of easy ideas to make your Easter baskets ones they’ll never forget…

                            > Do you have a service member in your family? Consider a basket filled exclusively with Made in the USA Easter candy!  From chocolate basketballs to Cella’s chocolate covered cherries, and caramel creams to Clark bars, the Easter Bunny delivers some sweet American pride! Fill basket with red, white and blue basket filler, and you’re all set. (We ship to military PO boxes, if you prefer.)

                            > Have someone on the list who remembers the “good old days”? We have a huge selection of nostalgic Easter Candy, and even have a pre-assembled nostalgic candy Easter basket!

                            > Everyone has a favorite color, so why not create an Easter basket that is bursting with that hue? Shop Easter candy by color, and you’re on your way to an impressive presentation they will believe took the bunny hours to put together.

                            > Do you have a diabetic in the family? We have a sweet solution; easily put together a sugar-free selection with sugar free Easter candy and gum.

                            > If you have a loved one like we do (Candy Pam) who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, go for a snack food Easter basket. The Easter Bunny will prove he appreciates the sweet and the salty tastes of his good little boys and girls. (Great for college students, too!)

                            We’re Hopping Happily Over Easter Cupcakes, With Easter Candy On Top!

                            Easter Candy CupcakesWe just love the fresh feeling of renewal that comes along with the Easter holiday, and we can’t help smiling happily that it’s another candy-coated holiday, too! We’ve been so busy helping the Easter bunny stock up on all his goodies for his Easter morning candy hop that we just seem to have forgotten how hungry we are for an Easter-themed dessert! Easter is tasted best with a bit of indulgence on top, and we searched the Internet over (okay, FoodNetwork.com), for the very best vanilla cupcake and buttercream icing recipe. We of course added our own BlairCandy.com twist to it – complete with Reeses Easter eggs and all 😉

                            The Easter Bunny’s Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes

                            Courtesy of:
                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/magnolias-vanilla-cupcake-recipe/index.html

                            Yields 24 cupcakes

                            Cupcake Ingredients:

                            • Easter-themed muffin cups
                            • 1.5 cups self-rising flour
                            • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour
                            • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
                            • 2 cups sugar
                            • 4 large eggs
                            • 1 cup milk
                            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                            Icing Ingredients:

                            • 2 sticks softened, unsalted butter
                            • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
                            • ½ cup milk
                            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extra
                            • Gel icing in pastel Easter colors
                            • Your favorite Easter candy varieties to top it off!

                            Directions:

                            1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. While you’re waiting for the oven to pre-heat, tell the following Easter joke:

                            Q: How did the eggs leave the highway?

                            A: They went through the “Eggs-it”!

                            2. Line two, 12-capacity muffin tins with the Easter-themed muffin cups.

                            3. Combine the flours in a small bowl.

                            4. In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the sugar, and beat about three minutes, until it has more of a fluffy consistency – like the Easter Bunny’s tail! Then, add the eggs one at a time, continuing to blend after each is added. Start adding the dry cupcake ingredients, alternating between the milk and vanilla. Beat until well blended.

                            5. Once blended, use a rubber spatula and spoon to fill the Easter-themed cupcake liners with your batter mixture, so that they’re each about ¾ full.

                            6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick in and it comes out clean.

                            7. While you’re waiting for the cupcakes to finish baking, whip up your Extraordinary Easter Icing!

                            8. Place the 2 sticks of butter in a large bowl, and then add 4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer on medium and mix until creamy, around 3-5 minutes. Start adding the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the icing is up to par and can be spread easily on the cupcake.

                            9. Add a few drops of the Easter-themed gel icing to your buttercream mixture. You can even separate the mixture at this point into a few small bowls, and add different Easter-themed gel icing colors to each bowl!

                            10. Make sure the buttercream is safely guarded from the Easter Bunny, or it’ll be gone in the flash of a hare!

                            11. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, start icing them. Top them off with your most scrumptious Easter candies – think Mike and Ike Jelly Beans, Reeses Easter Eggs, Cadbury Mini Easter Crème Eggs, oh, the list is endless!

                            The Easter Bunny is licking his lips over these “egg-celent” Easter Cupcakes, with Easter candy yumminess on top. Our Blair Candy staff is ready to take a little break from stocking our shelves full of bags and bags of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, and is happy to take a bite out of these vanilla cupcakes – before the Easter Bunny hops away with them!

                            Gardners Candies – Chocolate Easter Eggs for Every Taste!

                            Looking for that super special Easter treat for yourself or a loved one? That chocolate wonder that will have them staring wide-eyed with anticipation for the bounty their taste buds and belly are about to receive? When only the best will do, consider Gardners candies!

                            BlairCandy.com is proud to offer a delicious selection of Gardners candy, with a flavorful focus on a customer favorite – Gardners Easter Eggs. These aren’t your average chocolate eggs. Each Gardners egg weighs in at an impressive full pound, and comes packed with fillings as delectable as the creamy chocolate shell. These make a wonderful Easter gift for Moms, Dads, Grandparents and older children – anyone who can appreciate every nibble, and savor every sweet bite! Let’s take a closer look at a few of our most popular Gardner’s eggs…

                            Gardners Peanut Butter Meltaway Egg – That’s right…a full pound of nothing but chocolate, peanut butter meltaway, and a perfectly-sweet candy flower on top. The peanut butter meltaway egg is a great choice for just about everyone of all ages – who doesn’t love peanut butter?!

                            Gardners Butter Cream Egg – Oh yeah, you read it right – butter cream! This egg is so amazingly rich and full of flavor that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. We recommend tiny bites so as not to overwhelm your senses. Plus, you’ll want this to last as long as possible. Maybe just order 2 to be safe. Err, 3. Yeah, 3. (4) 😉

                            Gardners Chocolate Fudge Nut Egg – Do you think the only way to improve upon chocolate is to add more chocolate? Well, how about adding more chocolate and nuts? Thought that might get your attention! This fudge-filled chocolate egg is sizable enough to share, but we certainly aren’t going to tell anyone if you decide to hide it in back of the pantry or refrigerator instead. Because one of us might be doing the same thing. And one of us might be me. And one of us might be hoping no one with a key to my house is reading this.

                            Want even more Gardners candies to choose from? You’re in luck! In addition to the varieties outlined above, we also offer: Cashew Meltaway Eggs, Coconut Eggs, Fruit and Nut Eggs, Maple Cream and Nuts Eggs, and All Nut Eggs, with roasted cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans and walnuts. We’re sure to have the most egg-celent option for everyone’s Easter basket!

                            Creativity Inspired By Easter Candy

                            If you’re lucky enough to have little ones in your life, you know how wonderfully imaginative their minds tend to be. They can entertain themselves for hours by creating fun stories around whatever they have to work with, be it a few dolls or building blocks, or a few crayons and sheets of paper. Sure, most of them love video games and other electronics as well. In fact, most kids I know had an iPod before me! But they can still be quite captivated and creative with some of the simpler things, even if you have to give them a little push.

                            I came across a video recently on YouTube that I had to watch a few times to truly appreciate. One of YouTube’s top viral videos, kittens inspired by kittens features a vibrant little girl flipping through a picture book of kittens and offering her take on what each is thinking. At first, I thought she was just being goofy, saying the first thing that came to mind. But after watching it a few times, I could see what she saw! The kittens really did look like they might be thinking those things. Some were a little more obvious, while others showed that the girl really took a picture in for a moment before deciding what to say. She looked at it the way a child looks at things, where anything is possible and one must rely on clues instead of life experience. Then, we all get to look at it through her eyes too, and it’s suddenly a lot more magical!

                            While we think any time that you encourage your child’s creativity is the right time, we couldn’t help but wonder what amazing tales kids would tell involving the ‘characters’ in their Easter baskets. This Easter, we hope you’ll consider asking your kids to create a story for the contents of their basket before they dig into the deliciousness. If they don’t know where to begin, simply ask them how the Gardners Chocolate Bunny and the Marshmallow Peeps met, or how the Easter Bunny makes breakfast in the morning – with regular eggs, or Bubble Gum Eggs? You’ve seen your children dream up imaginary worlds of wonder with little more than a rainy day inside fueling their creativity. Imagine what they can originate with a basket full of Easter Candy! If you’ll be giving an Easter basket anyway, why not let it fill their minds and their bellies with fun? Even if their story is shorter than it might otherwise be as they can’t wait to indulge in a Jelly Bean breakfast, it’s sure to be one of the best stories you’ve ever heard.

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