- Holidays and Celebrations
My Favorite Easter Candy Gifts
A Collection of Popular Easter Candy Classics
As the battle between Peeps and chocolate Easter bunnies rages on for Easter candy world domination, let's take a peek at how it all began.
Images of rabbits and eggs have been used for hundreds of years as symbols of fertility in secular and religious celebrations world- wide.
In many parts of the world, spring is a time of rebirth and renewal and a time for awakening from a long winter's nap.
Regardless of the reason for celebration, Easter candy has firmly supplanted itself as one of the most candy consuming holidays of the year, ranking just behind Halloween and quite a bit ahead of Valentine's Day.
Let's take a look at how it got that way. Or at least one version of the story!
Easter Candy Beginnings
Hot Cross Buns and Pretzels? How Boring...
Whether celebrated as a religious or secular holiday, Easter appeals to most due to its connotations of rebirth and renewal.
Although hard to pinpoint exactly, it is commonly believed that the exchange of gifts during the Easter season goes back many centuries, and is reported to actually have it's beginnings with the tradition of sharing hot cross buns and pretzels.
Americans spend upward of $1.9 billion (yes billion) each year on Easter candy. This is just behind the mega-candy holiday that Halloween has become. An average family spends around $150 a year on Easter candy and baskets.
Here is my list of Easter candy favorites:
1. Chocolate Easter Bunnies
Regardless of how you choose to consume your bunny rabbit, today's choices range from hollow shelled treats to solid varieties made of dark, white, and milk chocolates. There are also sugar-free varieties for those watching their calories. The number of fillings is impressive as well, with flavors to appease the sweet tooth of any Easter bunny fanatic.
Since their early pastry and sugar beginnings in 1800's Germany to today's wide varieties of flavors and fillings, the chocolate Easter bunny remains a must have item for your Easter celebrations!
2. Marshmallow Peeps
Although not the "must have" item that chocolate Easter bunnies are, Peeps have none the less become a cult favorite of many, and deserve a spot at the top of any serious list of Easter candies.
The first Easter peeps were of the yellow chick variety, and in 1954 the Just Born candy company started mass producing them, having invented a method that drastically reduced the time it took to make them by hand. Merely a year earlier women were making them by hand and they were taking up to 27 total hours to make just one.
Nowadays people have several varieties to choose from, and peeps are made for all major holidays and in several festive colors.
As for how to eat them, some folks like to age them for a few months and others like them dipped in chocolate. They are also good frozen, and some people have even microwaved them.
Regardless of how you eat them, Peeps have become an Easter classic and are enjoyed by generations of kids and adults.
3. Jelly Beans
Jelly Beans are believed to have been first associated with Easter in the 1930's, although their popularity originally came about during the Civil War.
The Jelly Belly brand of Jelly Beans are currently the leading seller in the market, and they are now considered a staple of the modern Easter basket.
4. Chocolate Easter Eggs
As far as Easter baskets go, chocolate Easter eggs are also a gotta have item. Along with a chocolate bunny, milk chocolate Easter eggs should be in every Easter basket or candy dish.
Nothing adds color to an Easter basket like foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs. Spread out in the bottom of a basket, or offered in a festive candy bowl, chocolate Easter eggs go a long way towards satisfying that springtime sweet tooth.
At first, chocolate Easter eggs were made solid, as this was easier than producing hollow ones. Modern chocolate producing methods have made it possible for the average Easter candy lover to now enjoy what was once a treat reserved for the upper crust of society.
5. Malted Milk Robin Eggs
One of my all time favorites, these crunchy and delicious malted milk treats are as fun to eat as they are to look at. The outer speckle coating melts away when licked, providing your lips and tongue with a splash of color.
You are then left with no other option but to crunch through the inner candy shell to get to the milk chocolate that surrounds a great tasting malted milk center.
Mix these in with Jelly Beans and foil wrapped chocolate eggs for a fun and colorful bottom of any Easter basket.
Make an Easter Basket
What's Your Favorite Easter Candy?
Easter Candy Poll - Let Me Know if Your Favorite Didn't Make the List!
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© 2012 Hal Gall