Easy Easter Treats to Wow Your Friends and Family

Food expert LeAnn Rice offers ideas for delicious holiday fun. When family and friends gather for Easter brunch or dinner, everyone brings their signature dish. Grandpa always asks Aunt Sue to bring her famous macaroni and cheese to go with Grandma’s perfectly glazed ham. And everyone knows Mom’s secret-recipe potato salad and Cheryl’s biscuits will be on the table. But, like every year, you are asked to bring the paper products.

Maybe cooking isn’t your thing. Maybe you don’t enjoy it, or perhaps you do enjoy cooking, but you have had so many kitchen disasters that you have the fire department on speed dial.

It is perfectly fine if you are happy bringing the paper products every year. You might have a busy schedule and need a break. But, if you would like to bring something to the Easter celebration that will get raves, I am here to help!

These Easter treats are super simple to put together, but so cute that everyone will think you spent days making them. Go with it—sprinkle some flour in your hair, and let these showstoppers make you a bakery rock star with friends and family.

Easter Basket CakeEaster Basket Cake Make and frost a cake using a box mix and a tub of frosting. You even have permission to purchase a cake.

What you will need to assemble: • 2 14-ounce packages crème-filled pirouette wafer cookies • Assorted Easter candy (chocolate bunny, chocolate eggs, Peeps, etc.) • Easter M&M’s or jelly beans • Ribbon

To assemble: Line the wafer cookies around the exterior of the cake, pressing them slightly into the frosting to help them stay. Wrap the cake with a pretty Easter ribbon, and tie with a bow.

Arrange a chocolate bunny, Peeps, and other Easter candy on top of the cake as if it were an Easter basket.

Fill in around the candies with M&M’s or jelly beans. If you have room on the platter, arrange more candy around the cake.

Birds Nest Cupcakes 1Bird’s Nest Cupcakes Bake and frost (or purchase) two dozen cupcakes

What you will need to assemble: • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips • Chocolate eggs

To Assemble: Put the chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in the microwave, and heat on 50 percent power for two minutes or until melted, stirring after one minute.

After the chocolate has melted, place a 12-inch piece of waxed paper on a rimmed baking sheet, and pour the chocolate on the paper. Spread the chocolate out so that it’s very thin, but not transparent. Place the pan with the chocolate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove and roll the waxed paper so the chocolate breaks into shards.

Place shards of chocolate on the frosted cupcakes, then arrange three chocolate eggs (or use Jelly Beans) in the center so that it looks like a bird’s nest.

(Tip: If making the chocolate shards overwhelms you, just purchase chocolate curls, or top cupcakes with coconut instead of chocolate before adding the “eggs.”)

Bunny Bark 3Bunny Bark Ingredients: • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips • 6 ounces white chocolate • 1 cup assorted nuts • 1 cup assorted small Easter candies (M&M’s and/or jelly beans)

Place dark chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave on 50 percent power for two minutes or until melted, stirring after one minute. After the dark chocolate is melted, repeat the procedure in a separate bowl with the white chocolate.

Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with foil. Pour the dark chocolate onto the foil, and spread to 1/4-inch thick. Spoon circles of the white chocolate randomly over the dark chocolate. Use a knife to swirl the chocolates together to make a marbled effect.

Scatter the nuts and candy over the chocolate, then press slightly to make sure they are into the chocolate and not just sitting on top.

Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for an hour. Remove from the refrigerator, then use your hands to break the chocolate bark into pieces.

Birds Nest Candy 1Bird’s Nest Candies Ingredients: • 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips • 6 ounces peanut butter chips • 6 ounces butterscotch chips • 12-ounce bag Chow Mein noodles • Chocolate eggs

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.

Place chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips in a glass bowl, and place the bowl in the microwave. Heat at 50 percent for two to three minutes or until melted, stirring halfway through.

While the chips are melting, pour the noodles into a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted chocolate over the noodles, and gently stir to coat, trying not to break the noodles.

Drop golf ball-sized blobs of the mixture onto the lined baking sheets. Use the back of a spoon to make an indent in the center. Arrange three eggs in the indent.

Place the pans in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up.

(Note: You can replace the noodles with cornflakes for a different texture and taste. Both versions are shown in the picture.)