a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Helping the Hoppity Hare and Your Budget by . . .

Making Your Own Buttercreme Easter Eggs!

          When I was young there was a wonderful candy store in our town ---  the kind where I longingly pressed my nose to the glass so my eyes could devour the tempting confections nestled there.
          Each Easter, as a teenager, I would enter that special store and purchase a cellophane-grass-filled box containing three small icing-rose-decorated, cream-filled, chocolate-covered eggs as a gift for my current boyfriend.
          Even then, more than 50 years ago, the small, two-bite morsels were quite pricey, selling at three for $1.00.

Several years later, with six children and resources that  were constantly challenged, my mind wandered to that candy store as I scanned the food section of the newspaper.

There, right before my eyes, were mini, buttercreme-filled, chocolate-covered eggs ---- with directions!!!

One recipe's worth and our family was convinced this needed to be a yearly tradition!

With hundreds, no, thousands, of buttercreme eggs under my belt (unfortunately I mean literally as well as figuratively), I pass this recipe on. Please don't be put off by the length of the instructions. The eggs are very simple to make, they can be done in advance, and can be made over a period of time.We have made them (and shared them)  in small groups with friends and neighbors and in classes.  As well as simple, they are very affordable.

Although you can make them any size or shape you wish, we prefer the small two-bite size, and at this size, the following recipe makes approximately FIVE DOZEN!

Basic Buttercreme
1 15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 cubes margarine or butter at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. salt
3 pounds (approximately) powdered sugar

With electric mixer, combine all but the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar. When it becomes too stiff for the mixer, continue to knead the powdered sugar in with your hands until you have a smooth dough that is not stick, but not too dry. 

When you are ready to form the eggs, decide how many flavors you want to make, and divide the buttercreme accordingly into bowls and cover each so they won't dry out. 

Choose from the following possibilities or create your own:

  • mint flavoring with green or pink coloring
  • orange flavoring with red and yellow coloring
  • powdered chocolate drink mix or cocoa powder
  • well-drained and finely chopped maraschino cherries and/or chopped nuts
  • shredded coconut and almond flavoring
  • maple flavoring
  • mini-chips or other mini-candies
  • crushed peppermint sticks or candies
  • cocoa powder and orange or raspberry flavoring
  • malted milk powder
Working with one flavor at a time, take walnut-size portions (for small eggs) and, using palms of hands and fingers, form into an egg shape. Place on waxed-paper lined cookie sheets. Chill several hours or overnight.

Friday I'll be back with the simple chocolate coating, and ideas for decorating them if you are that ambitious! Also, our experiences with packaging them for mailing and a cheapskate recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk. 

Until then, I am Simply Gail with Simple and Cheap Ideas --- Have a great week!


Norm and Heather said...

oooh sounds so yummy!

Norm and Heather said...

Mint would be my fav!