“I want candy!”
-Bow Wow Wow
At Easter, the promise of creme filled chocolate eggs always thrilled me as a little kid. The holy suffering and going to church part- not so much. My mom was no dummy. The best way to placate a young resistor was a fat bribe of sweets to stifle the complaining. She still to this day makes sure to give or send her kids and grandkids chocolate treats from Sees Candy (still my favorite; you can keep those other fancy European brands). Young me couldn’t wait to wake up Easter morning and discover the bulging basket the “bunny” left for me in the night. Forever filled with pastel colored foil wrapped chocolate eggs & chicks, multicolored jelly beans and another special annual homemade treat: decorated sugar eggs with Easter dioramas inside created by my talented Aunt (more on the wonders out of Auntie Marcia’s kitchen later).
I grew obsessed with making something different this year, something spring themed- but not too Easter-y. What about recreating one of my favorite Christmas treats (peppermint bark, for example) for an Easter audience? Could this actually work and if so, how? While out shopping I spied a hot pink baking mold and suddenly an idea started brewing. How about buying this mold, and using spring colored/flavored hard candy on top of melted chocolate instead of peppermint? Viola! My very own brand of Bug Bark was soon to be born.
Turns out these were pretty easy to make. Your prep time is about thirty minutes and “cook time” (in this case, freezing time) is about one hour. For all you other candy obsessed kitchen scientists, here’s the how to.
Gather your supplies:
- a chocolate mold; mine above is from Cost Plus Word Market
- 2 bars of dark or milk chocolate, your choice
- 3 bars of white chocolate
- lemon sorbet hard candy (I bought mine at Williams Sonoma)
- vanilla flavored crushed candy (Joann’s carries these in different colors)
- floral ribbon, for bagging bugs individually
- treat bags (Joann’s again has a great selection)
- edible Easter grass
First, prepare your crushed candy and separate into bowls. The lemon sorbet candy I bought was not crushed, so I took a small hammer and did the smashing myself.
After your candy is all crushed and ready to go, in a double boiler, melt the dark or milk chocolate first (careful not to overheat, as chocolate scalds quite easily). I then transferred the melted chocolate into a small plastic squeeze bottle with a narrow tip (usually used for icing cookies) and drizzled it into the mold, for a more precise filling of the bugs. Just fill the bug mold 1/3 to 1/2 full and no more, as next comes the white chocolate on top of it.
Once the dark/milk chocolate has been used, put your mold on a baking sheet and place in your freezer for at least twenty minutes (thirty is better). In the meantime, you can prepare to melt down your white chocolate. Once your mold is back out of the freezer, drizzle the melted white chocolate on top of the dark. Immediately after your bugs are filled with white chocolate, start dropping pieces of the lemon (larger) candy in first, also leaving space for the vanilla crumble.
Once you’ve appropriately filled the molds with their candy tops, gently press the candy into the still soft chocolate so it sets well. Place your baking sheet/candy mold back into the freezer for another 30 minutes. Once done, turn the mold over and gently press each bug out of its form. If your bugs start to get warm melty, put them back in the freezer to solidify before proceeding on to the next. After they are all removed from the form, store them in the fridge in a tupperware until ready to use.
You can either platter your bugs or give them out individually wrapped. I used the edible grass and some Brach’s and Cadbury eggs on my plate for a sweet display.
If you prefer to give them out individually, you can use the edible grass, a treat bag, and a pretty floral ribbon to close your bag up. A name/gift tag is optional.
Either way, recipients of these treats will love them- they look great and taste great too. Hey, you might even be able to put a bug or two to good use on Easter Sunday morning before church 😉
©2017 Lisa Ihnken All Rights Reserved