Growing up, my family celebrated Easter every year. We were not religious, so the holiday was celebrated traditionally rather than spiritually. The Easter holiday meant egg hunts, family brunches, and lots of candy. I relished the Easter season and all that came with it– warm weather, frilly dresses and bonnets, Easter bunnies and outdoor egg hunts (that’s me, above, in one of my many Easter frocks). Searching for those colorful eggs was thrilling. And of course, the best part was indulging in all of those sweet Easter treats… chocolate bunnies, cakes, brownies, and “peeps.” 🙂
Speaking of sweets, here is one of my favorite family candy recipes. These lovely treats are super easy to make. They’re incredibly creamy, rich and delicious. You can flavor them any way you fancy. Traditionally my family uses peppermint flavoring to make them minty, but I’ve also made them using vanilla butter flavoring, banana, coconut, and lemon. You can flavor each color differently, if you like. I especially love how colorful they are… they remind me of all those delectable Easter treats growing up. What fun!
These candies can be made for lots of different holidays. I like to make them with blue food coloring at Hanukkah and in vibrant color blends (purple, orange) for Purim. They’re a fun gift to bring to a wedding or baby shower, and they’d make a festive addition to any dairy holiday table.
If you’re still keeping kosher for Passover, as I am, and you want to make this treat before the end of the holiday, be sure to check out the Passover note below.
Happy Easter to all of our friends who are celebrating today. Enjoy! 🙂
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Cream Cheese Candies
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 package)
- 4-5 cup powdered sugar (see Passover note)
- 1 tsp flavoring - peppermint, vanilla butter, lemon, banana, etc.
- Food coloring
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and stir till softened and partially melted into the butter.
- Turn off the heat. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar to the pan and stir to form a soft sugary dough. If the dough seems to liquid or loose, slowly add more sugar till it firms up-- it should be firm enough to mold and shape. If making only one flavor, add 1 tsp of flavoring to the dough (or more to taste) and stir well.
- Divide dough into four equal portions. If making more than one flavor, add 1/4 tsp of flavoring (or more to taste) to each separate portion of dough and stir well.
- Color the dough by adding a few drops of food coloring to each portion of dough. For a pastel color, use 2-3 drops of food coloring per portion. For more vibrant color, add more drops.
- Shape the candies into round disks of about 1/2 tbsp each. Score them on top with a fork, if desired.
- Allow to dry on parchment or wax paper for a few hours until the candies set. Store candies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.