To these three I have added one of my favorite chocolate makers. All have Web sites and/or Facebook pages.
Their Easter chocolates are alternatives to the products sold in drugstores and grocery stores, which traditionally are mass-produced milk chocolates of modest quality, and too sweet for my dark chocolate taste.
Read the ingredients on all of the Easter chocolates you purchase for your family and as gifts. Some may contain real sugar; some may have sugar substitutes. Some chocolatiers now sell organic and free trade Easter chocolates. If these criteria are important to you, read the label.
“Our company is now over 11 years old,” says Melissa Misley, customer-service representative. “We started selling chocolate from a cart at Dadeland Malll and opened our current storefront and factory over six years ago. We’ve always made Easter eggs.
“Our mini eggs have different flavors every year. This year the two light chocolate varieties contain cookies and cream, and white chocolate. The two dark chocolate varieties have dulce de leche and hazelnut paste.”
The larger eggs come in white or dark chocolate, with hand-painted designs.
“Our Easter rabbits come in two sizes. The small bunnies are solid chocolate; the larger ones are hollow. We don’t ship the bunnies.”
Susy Arboleda of Boca Raton makes cakes on a popsickle stick. “I started making Susypops for my children’s parties and haven’t stopped,” she says. “We make custom- designed cake pops for events, holidays, and parties. Our most recent designs are on our Facebook page.
“This year we are making Easter chicks and Easter eggs on sticks, and little cake ball eggs in little egg-carton boxes. Easter chicks are vanilla cake dipped in chocolate. Easter eggs are chocolate cake dipped in chocolate.”
Peterbrooke Chocolatier, based in Jacksonville, makes conventional chocolate, but there is nothing conventional about its Easter egg. “Our milk-chocolate wonder egg is about half the size of a standard football – a full half-pound of chocolate filled with a quarter-pound of chocolate-covered popcorn. We’re making 1,400 eggs, double what we made last year,” says Jeffery R. Smith, chief operating officer.
Peterbrooke also has six varieties of marshallow eggs, and Easter baskets and gifts. Store shoppers are encouraged to build their own gift baskets.
When I lived in the Central West End of St. Louis, one of my delights walking home was a stop at Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chococolatier. A peek in the window or a quick sniff always refreshed me at the end of a long day.
Bissinger store windows were exsiting with the chocolate to taste no matter the holiday.
Available items this year – all of which can be mailed – include marshmallow dark and milk chocolate eggs, collectible papier-mâché eggs imported from Europe, a five-inch 4.7-ounce white chocolate Easter lamb, and a 7.5-inch 8.5-ounce bunny that looks remarkably like Br’er Rabbit with two extended milk-chocolate front teeth. The traditional hand-painted semi-solid Easter bunny is 17 inches tall, weighs two pounds, and comes in milk chocolate.
Bissinger’s also has foil-covered milk and dark chocolate eggs, famous chocolate-covered caramel lollipops with Easter decorations, and other Easter cookies and candies.
Bissinger’s has a Facebook page.
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