Upgrade your Easter candy
March 30th, 2013
07:45 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Let’s crunch some numbers on America’s Easter candy consumption. The National Confectioners Association offers the following stats:

  • Easter is the second-biggest candy-eating holiday of the year. (You surely know that Halloween is No. 1.)
  • Last year Americans spent almost $2.1 billion on Easter candy.
  • Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced every year.
  • Adults like milk chocolate a lot more than dark chocolate: 65% prefer milk; 27% opt for dark. (That other 8% may be the white chocolate voting bloc.)
    I’m a loyal fan of classic Easter candy; you’d have to measure all the Cadbury eggs and jelly beans I’ve consumed by the metric ton. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try new things, especially on a major candy holiday. Here are some suggestions of artisans doing interesting things in one of my favorite mediums, chocolate.
    Chicks in Coop
    Happy 60th anniversary, Peeps. (Here’s an amazing stat: The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, factory produces 5 million Peeps a day.) Now New York City’s Three Tarts Bakery is making wonderful homemade Peeps. They’re presented in a box that looks like a little straw-filled chicken coop, with 12 homemade, hand-piped vanilla bean marshmallow chicks, dusted with yellow sugar.
    The Goose’s Golden Eggs

    Elite chocolatier Vosges Haut–Chocolat is producing gorgeous chocolate eggs with inspired fillings. Bacon & Eggs is dark chocolate filled with oozy bacon caramel; the organic Peanut Butter Egg is made of milk chocolate filled with peanut butter infused with pink Himalayan salt and Maldon sea salt. It’s an upscale version of that other classic, Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg.

    Chocolate Ladybugs

    John & Kira’s, a philanthropically minded Philadelphia-based confectioner, makes elegant and adorable dark chocolate ladybugs, all filled with Valrhona chocolate ganache. The shells are red (their signature raspberry flavor), green (mint) or yellow (honey-lavender); many of the ingredients are sourced from sustainable local food growers, including urban garden projects.

    Easter Eggs

    The artisanal chocolatier Christopher Elbow, of Kansas City, Missouri, features nine different hand-painted chocolate eggs, with Easter Bunny-meets-Jackson Pollock speckled exteriors. The luxe fillings range from passion fruit caramel to peanut praline, fleur de sel caramel and coconut ganache.

    Divine Collection

    Yes, the NYC-based Bond Street Chocolate is selling a 4-inch tall, dark chocolate Jesus dusted with 24-karat gold, for $15. But that’s not the only religious figure they commemorate in chocolate: You can also get a chocolate Buddha (in small, large or the 9-ounce jumbo size), as well as Ganesh, the Virgin of Guadalupe and a copper-dusted Moses.

    More from Food & Wine:
    Best Chocolate in the U.S.
    Best Brunch Cities in the U.S.
    Delicious Easter Recipes
    Easter Desserts
    Ultimate Easter Guide 

    More Easter on Eatocracy:
    Chilling with my Peeps - make Peeps ice cream at home
    Everybunny loves beer
    Hop on these Easter wines
    Slovak soul food – Paska for Easter
    The bitter truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket
    Easter candy overload!
    Easter lamb: It's Greek to me
    How to confront a country ham
    Vintage egg cocktails for Easter afternoon and evening

    © 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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    Filed under: Candy • Chocolate • Content Partner • Easter • Food and Wine • Holidays

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    soundoff (3 Responses)
    1. Thomas

      I found it! Easter is such an extremely small item on CNN...I'm glad that I found the little link in the corner

      March 31, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    2. maadee91

      I LOVE this post. Holy moly, if only I could get my hands on one of those bacon caramel eggs right now. Yum!

      March 30, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
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