My mother did a nice job when I was a kid stocking our morning Easter baskets with all sorts of artificially flavored, blood sugar-elevating sweets. My sisters and I didn’t leave our rooms for days, our mouths and fingers and tongues becoming overlapping shades of imitation blue, yellow, red, green, and purple.
But that was a long spell ago, and I hadn’t eaten those classic treats since Pop Rocks were popular (at the risk of sounding snobbish, my taste buds for sweets at Easter time have matured to Jacques Torres and MarieBelle Chocolates).
Since billions of dollars are spent on Easter candy annually, we figured a ranking of the favorites from worst to first was in order.
9. Whoppers Robin Eggs
“Malted milk candy in a crunchy candy shell” sells it pretty well — that’s something I’d like to try. Unfortunately the buildup leaves the actual taste that much more a letdown. These are awful and I wouldn’t feed to my worst enemy (aka the CEO of Applebee’s).
8. Marshmallow Chicks and Rabbits
These cousins to Circus Peanuts have the texture of stale marshmallows and taste like bubblegum gone wrong. The rabbits look like rabbits well enough but the chicks need a serious makeover.
7. Cadbury Creme Eggs
Some may be upset that Cadbury’s original take on the chocolate egg is so far down this list. However, while I concede its place among essential Easter candy, the goopy, overly sugary interior was quite off-putting (the chocolate exterior is above-average). I will give them the resemblance to the interior of an egg is pretty well executed. Though I’d rather eat an actual egg.
Much of the charm for these marshmallow chicks — around since 1953 — is their cute and pretty pastel colors. A bite into one is like nibbling on … sugar-flecked air? They are not packed with much flavor, though I did spot lime flavored/lime colored green ones that I considered purchasing — until I saw an aged woman with a purple pocket book and cheap dye job grab four boxes. I’d be amiss if I didn’t acknowledge Peeps have inspired many recipes, pieces of artwork, and they even have an entertainment value when put into a microwave (just don’t burn yourself taking it out).
5. Lindt Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Eggs
While the taste is decent at best, these get two bunny ears up for the fun factor; the small size makes them perfect for Easter Egg Hunt bounty. Negative points for the sometimes-problematic opening process. Having fingernails helps.
4. Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs
Jelly beans by another name (and with 16 billion are purchased Eastertime), they are artificial and overly cloying but the juicy-sweet soft crunch had me keep reaching for more. I even like the licorice-flavored black ones, which seem to put off many.
3. Lindt Milk Chocolate Bunny
The quality varies on chocolate bunnies depending on brand of course (Lindt was at best serviceable for a chocolate fix; Russell Stover was weak) but any chocolate bunny gets points for being the inspiration for one of the most charming and funny cartoons of all time.
2. Russell Stover Marshmallow Egg
I don’t recall especially liking these as a child and have only unfortunate things to say about Russell Stover boxed chocolates but … I admit I enjoyed the marshmallow fluff filling here — it’s pillowy texture definitely beat out that of a regular ol’ marshmallow.
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
Reese’s cups have been a Halloween candy favorite among both adults and kids, and the egg version doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the filling is a bit creamier and there’s more of it. After the first couple, I closed my office door so my co-workers wouldn’t’ witness me knocking off half the bag.
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