Okay. So I've agreed to but my not-really-known-for-cooking-self out there and pass on my recipe for peanut butter eggs. Its a gift to you but it comes with a few strings attached. Strings are as follows:
1. If your egg recipe is better than mine... don't tell me. I don't wanna know. This is my Nana's recipe... downsized so it makes less than a million. I just won't be able to handle it if you tell me my Nana's eggs aren't the best.
2. If you make them and you hate them... don't tell me. I don't wanna know. My entire family used to get together every year and make these. The last time they did it I was still a little kid and was so little I wasn't even allowed to help. The only reason I even have the recipe is because my Aunt Sue decided to put together a family recipe cookbook one time and my mother gave me her copy when she divorced my dad. Best thing ever (the divorce and the book). I just wouldn't be able to handle it if you tell me I have that much emotional baggage wrapped up in eggs you don't even like.
3. If you like 'em... pass it on. My Nana is gone now and very little of her was left for me. My family turned from a tight-knit family that makes eggs every year into a clawing heap of angry women (there were mostly daughters) so I want to share what little I have left of her with people who will appreciate her and me and so keep that good feeling going.
4. Don't ever repeat all that mushy-stuff. I'm not a mushy-stuff kind of girl.
5. Just so ya know... that family recipe cookbook also has recipes for Hog Maw (love it), Rhubarb Sauce (hate it), Beef Heart (not a chance) , and Hot Lettuce (adore).
Okay... here we go...
A note about ingredients: the original recipe calls for pounds of ingredients because it was meant to make a lot either for a family to make and divide or for things like church fundraisers and bake sales. I've broken it down to about 1/3 of the original and have used this same amount for a few years now. Also... since there are only 3 ingredients I strongly encourage you to use the exact items called for without substitution. If you substitute it may be just fine but if it isn't... don't say I didn't warn ya.
In a large bowl mix together:
- a 2 lb bag of 10X sugar
-1 and 1/3 c margarine
-1 and 2/3 c peanut butter (Jif or Peter Pan)
That's it. You can mix it by hand but it gets really tough to mix so I use a stand mixer. The consistency once its all mixed together should resemble firm, moist clay. It should pull away from the side of a metal bowl cleanly. If it seems too soft add a bit more sugar until its stiff and clay-like.
As for forming the eggs... mine look more like logs. I can't help it... that's the way they always looked when Nana made them. I've considered giving them a more egg-like shape but it wouldn't be the same. You can shape yours however you like. Tater even experimented with small cookie cutters and made a few hearts and stars (they didn't stay that way for long).
Use about a heaped tablespoon for each egg. I use a dough scoop so its quicker and they all end up about the same size. Roll the blob in your hands like you did as a kid working clay...
and line them up on wax paper. Our batch made 54 eggs give or take the few Tater and I ate.
Once you have them all shaped and ready, make the chocolate for dipping:
-2 12 oz bags of Hershey semi-sweet choc chips
-a chunk of paraffin
As far as the paraffin goes the recipe calls for "1 square of paraffin" to go with 5 lbs of chocolate. I don't know what brand or what size square so I just sort of wing it. I have Gulf brand paraffin and I throw in about 1/4 of a rectangle...
Chop the wax into small pieces so it melts easily along with the chocolate. Nana used a double boiler but I just put it all in a crock and nuke it. Stir it about every 30 seconds until its all melted smooth and really warm and runny.
Toss in a egg/log and use a fork to turn it to coat all around and scoop it out of the chocolate with the fork. Let the chocolate drip off over the bowl a little before placing the coated egg on wax paper to cool/dry.
Note: you may notice in this picture that Tater and I used our cooling racks to put the eggs on after they were dipped. Don't do that. Just put them on wax paper like Nana did.
See, I bought those pretty racks this past year before cookie baking season and I love them so much I've been putting everything on them to cool. Never had a problem until today. Didn't think there could be a problem. Until they were all dry and I went to remove them from the racks and this happened...
Just use wax paper.
Fear not... I popped the poor things off of there after they spent a little time in the fridge firming up. We ate the goofy ones (they tasted just as good).
After the ones you put on wax paper are cool and relatively dry layer them in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper and keep them in the fridge.
They keep in the fridge forever. Freeze excellently. I can remember pulling frozen peanut butter eggs out of the freezer in the heat of July and gnawing on them. Nothing rocks more than a frozen egg in July. Except maybe ice cream to go with it.