To make the “Baskets”:
Melt 1 ½ cups of the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave until melted and over 105° on a candy thermometer. Stir in ½ cup of chips until the temperature enters the tempering range (88°-90° for dark chocolate and 86°-88° for milk chocolate).
Fill each outer mold 1/3 to 1/2 full with melted chocolate. Insert the inner mold and press into place. Lightly tap the molds to break up any air bubbles. Put the molds into the refrigerator or freezer until completely set.
Once set, remove the dishes from the molds (it may help to quickly run warm water over the bottom of the molds to loosen the dishes). Store in refrigerator.
To make the decorations:
Draw the handle template on a piece of paper. Cut out squares of wax paper large enough to fit each handle.
Place about 1 cup of chocolate chips in a plastic bag. Microwave in 10 second intervals, unsealed, massaging the chips in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and no lumps remain. Press out the excess air in the bag and seal. Push the mixture down to one corner of the bag and snip off a very small corner. Trace the outline of the handle template.
Fill in the outline, being generous, so that it will spread all the way to the sides.
Using an offset spatula or a toothpick spread and smooth the chocolate.
|The chocolate sets quickly, so each handle should be on a separate piece of wax paper, in order to prevent breaking and cracking.|
Wrap the handles around a roll of paper towels that is the approximate width of the baskets. Put into the refrigerator or freezer until completely set.
Repeat this process until you have enough handles for all your baskets.
While the handles are setting, draw an egg template on a piece of paper. Cut a large sheet of wax paper for the eggs. Place about 1/2 cup of each colored candy melts in separate plastic bags. Microwave in 10 second intervals, unsealed, massaging the candy melts in between, until the candy is completely melted and no lumps remain. Press out the excess air in the bag and seal. Push the mixture down to one corner of the bag and snip off a very small corner. Trace the outline of the egg template with the various colored melted candy. Use the same bag of colored candy melts to fill in the outline. Be generous, so that it will spread all the way to the sides. Using an offset spatula or a toothpick spread and smooth the candy.
The melted candy will begin to cool and harden as you work. If it becomes too stiff to work with, microwave for 10 more seconds until melted again. This step is very important – if you think you might need to reheat the candy, definitely do it. You will save yourself a lot of messed up eggs by keeping the candy melted.
Repeat this process with more candy melts until you have enough eggs for all your baskets. Let set completely.
Once the eggs have set, use the other colored candy melts to decorate the eggs. Let set completely.
To make the filling:
Mix sugar, flour, and salt. Add enough milk to make a paste, and then add the egg yolks. Pour on the remaining milk and cook in a double boiler for 15 minutes, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and food coloring.
|I forgot a coupler, so I had to cheat by pushing the decorating tip into the bottom of the pastry bag.|
Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe into the prepared chocolate baskets, and then garnish with the chocolate handles and Easter eggs.
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator.