When it comes to Easter candy, everyone’s got a guilty pleasure, including people who have built their careers around sweet treats:
Josh Davis, co-owner of Gelato Fiasco:
For Davis, Cadbury Mini Eggs are “the devil of Easter candy.”
He got hooked on them years ago when he had a roommate obsessed with the candies, and now his whole family eats them and he makes gelato with them at Easter. What’s the appeal? It’s not the chocolate, Davis said. It’s the texture, which is like a real, thin egg shell.
“Those damn eggs,” Davis said. “You know, you get a bag of them and they’re crunchy on the outside, and they have that weird powdered texture to the outside. We try not to buy them because it’s embarrassing. You get to the bottom of the bag and it’s like, ‘Did we just eat a whole bag of those things?’ ”
Ed Foley, owner of Foley’s Bakery:
Foley, maker of the best peanut butter cookies in Portland, calls himself a “junk candy person” who just can’t resist things like Hot Tamales and Gummy Bears.
“My favorite thing is Jelly Bellies,” he said. “I’m an addict, not only at Easter but at Christmas. Molly (his wife) usually comes home with two 5-pound bags of assorted flavors, and we just kind of pick through them. We try to put only one bag out at a time.”
His favorite flavors are cinnamon and juicy pear.
So how does this thin-as-a-reed baker manage to control his weight while scarfing down so much candy (and, presumably, baked goods)? “I just work 80 hours a week and never sit down,” he said, laughing. “It’s pretty easy.”
Dean Bingham, owner of Dean’s Sweets:
Thirty years ago, when he was living in Boston, Bingham fell in love with a buttercream Easter egg made by a candy company called Van Otis. Today, he’s still trying to re-create it.
“They were basically half eggs that were solid chocolate on the bottom,” Bingham recalled. “They were dark chocolate, vanilla buttercream, and I used to get the 8-ounce ones. And you could actually eat an entire 8-ounce, half-pound egg in one sitting if you were crazy.”
After the company moved, the eggs disappeared for a long time, but a quick Google search shows that they’re apparently making a version of it again. The new version is smaller, includes a buttercream “yolk” and is called a “fudge egg.”
Francesca Bowman, executive pastry chef at Old Port Sea Grill:
Bowman has two guilty pleasures, one “uptown” and one “downtown.” Her fancy favorite is a Perugina hollow chocolate uova di pasqua (Easter egg) filled with boccis – smaller, individually wrapped eggs in flavors like chocolate-hazelnut. In Italy, they are beautifully wrapped and hang from the ceilings of shops.
“We drive down to Boston every year for them,” she said. “They’re huge chocolate shells and you smash them open. And then on the inside, there’s more chocolate. They’re huge in Italy. For me, it’s like being a kid again getting something like that. It’s adult chocolate, and it’s delicious.”
Her other favorite treat is more low-brow, but she loves it just as much – Cadbury Mini Eggs.
“I leave them in my mouth and I like them to melt so the shell kind of stays but the inside gets really, really creamy,” she said. “Once those dissipate in your mouth, you’re left with a thin layer of the shell, so you can just crunch it. It sounds crazy, but it’s so much fun.”
Erin Lynch and Kelly Donohoe, bakers at Rosemont Market:
Lynch and Donohoe are making a lot of marshmallow chicks this Easter season, but those aren’t their favorite Easter treats.
The Easter candy Lynch finds hard to resist is the Cadbury Cream Egg, that chocolate egg with the creamy filling that looks like an egg yolk. “They were such a treat when I was a kid,” she said. “We would each get one in our Easter basket, just savoring it. If it got a little stale, it would get a little chewier. We weren’t allowed a lot of sugar when we were growing up, so it was always a huge deal to have a Cadbury Cream Egg.”
Even before Donohoe named her guilty pleasure, she declared: “I am not ashamed of it.”
“I love the Reese’s peanut butter eggs,” she said.
Why? “I think because there’s more peanut butter than in a normal Reese’s cup. And peanut butter and chocolate is very good.”