I thought it would be great fun to host an Easter Egg Hunt this year despite the 3 feet of snow we still had left on the ground and ice-cold temperatures. It was a B.Y.O.B.B. event. Bring your own baskets and boots! Better bring mittens, hats, parka and snow pants too! We have the perfect setting, lots of farm fresh eggs and two resident rabbits that could help hide them so I set about planning, decorating and baking. I’d like to share some of the things I did with you.
First came the decorating. I admit I am a Pinterest addict and almost all of the creative ideas I have come from there. Take this adorable jelly bean tree. It is so basic in design, the supplies are easy enough to find and you can make one in under an hour! My kind of project.
Find yourself a good branch from any tree, grab your glue gun and some jelly beans and just start sticking them everywhere! I had some florist foam from another project that I used to hold my branch in place and when I was done I covered the base with moss. A great tip I got from the website that shared this was to take a hair dryer to the tree after to get rid of all those glue cobwebs (don’t you just hate those things?). Simply blow them away. Worked great.
Now I did say the jelly bean tree was basic and didn’t take much time to make but I didn’t say it was easy!! No sir! The hot glue gets everywhere…mostly all over your fingers so go slow and please be careful. Or….use tweezers. Hot glue hurts.
There are also a million free printable around so I found one I liked, printed it out and put it in a frame. I didn’t have a white frame handy and I really thought it would look best with white, more Spring like, so I took what I had and painted it. When it was dry I hit it with a little fine sandpaper to give it that rustic look I love and called it a day. I think it adds just the right touch and looks cute with the tree.
Speaking of free printable, I was able to print out a banner to decorate with, a sign to use in the yard telling the kids “The Hunt starts here” and Bunny Bucks. What are Bunny Bucks? Pure genius if you ask me! They take the place of candy in some of the eggs and the kids can use them to buy things with after. I grabbed my son and dragged him on a shopping spree with me and we came home with bags of toys and pencils and bubbles and coloring books and all kinds of cool stuff. I divided everything up and labeled them with actual bunny bucks so the kids could figure out what it would cost them to purchase that particular item. So a pencil or toy car would cost one bunny buck and a stuffed animal would cost five bunny bucks. I really love this idea because I feel like I’m sneaking a little learning in there and kids love to shop! Whenever I host a market here its always the children that are my biggest customers. They would buy the pictures of my walls if they were for sale! Just give them a dollar bill and they are happy, happy!
I filled a total of 390 plastic eggs. Some with candy, some with toys and some with Bunny Bucks. I had 2 golden eggs with special prizes for those and for the little ones I had goldfish, animal crackers, fruit snacks and dum-dum lollipops.
I also made Poppers to hang from the trees outside. Those are a plastic egg that you tie to the tree with string and the kids stand underneath, pull the string and “POP”! The egg opens and out comes the surprise. They are a little time-consuming to make but totally worth it. They looks so festive hanging from the tree branches and the children love them. What you need to do is drill two holes in the top of the egg and two holes in the bottom of the egg and then feed a good heavy string trough each end. Make sure the strings are nice and long so the kids can reach them easily. Take care when hanging them from the trees, look for sturdy branches so when the kids give them a yank the branch won’t break.
After the shopping was done, the eggs were filled and the decorations made it was time to start baking. I wanted to make some special treats for everyone because hunting for eggs can make you hungry! Plus, there are so many fun things you can make for Easter. I think it may be one of my favorite holidays just because of the baked goods!
For the little ones I wanted to make something colorful and fun so I decided to make Rice Krispie Pops using marshmallow Peeps. I’m sure you’ve all made Rice Krispie Treats before and know just how easy they are to make but using Peeps? Well, that just brings them to a whole new level!
For each layer you will need:
- 10 marshmallow Peeps in your choice of color
- 1 1/2 cups of crisp rice cereal
- 1 TBS butter
- cooking spray
Melt 10 Peeps and 1 TBS. of butter together in a large microwave safe bowl. I say large because Peeps will expand and you don’t want to be cleaning sticky Peeps off your microwave! This should only take about 40 seconds so don’t go anywhere, or get distracted. Once they are melted mix them together and then add your crisp rice cereal and coat it well.
I used a loaf pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed well with cooking spray. Press the marshmallow coated cereal into the pan and press down well with a spatula or your hands. Tip: Coat your hands or spatula with cooking spray first otherwise you will become one big sticky mess!
Now continue 3 more times until you have a total of 4 different colored layers. Let it cool and then remove from pan. Cut in nice thick slices and then cut each slice in half. Insert pop stick and wrap with small cellophane bag. Tie with ribbon and watch the kids go wild!! (Probably from all that sugar!)
Next up I found another adorable idea called Flower Pretzel Bites. Colorful, festive, delicious and easy! Don’t they just scream Spring?
For these little cuties you will need:
- Pretzel snaps
- Wilton white candy melts
- Easter M&M’s (I love the look of the pastel colors)
Place about 10-15 pretzel snaps on a microwave safe plate and top each one with a candy melt. Work in small numbers here because they take a little bit of time and you don’t want the candy melt to harden up on you. Zap in microwave for about 10 seconds or until the candy melt is soft enough that you can press the M&M’s into it but not so soft that the candy melt melts right off the pretzel! There is a fine line here! Now just press the M&M’s on top in the shape of a flower and let cool. Continue until you have made a whole garden full of these Flower Pretzel Bites because they are yummy and when you start popping them into your mouth you won’t be able to stop. Sweet and salty, ya know!
Then I had to make this really good Pineapple Tart Cake because it is so light and refreshing. Not too sweet and it kinda reminds me of Spring with all the yummy pineapple pie filling on top. The only problem was that I couldn’t find any pineapple pie filling that it calls for in the recipe so I used strawberry pie filling and fresh crushed pineapple. It was a good alternative and I’m sure you could even use blueberry or cherry, whatever floats your boat…its all good BUT if you can find the canned pineapple pie filling use it and please, please tell me where you found it! Or better yet just send me a case. TIA
Pineapple Tart Cake
- 1- 9oz. box of golden-yellow cake mix
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 8oz. cool whip
- 1 cup of confectioner sugar
- 1 can of pineapple pie filling (if you are lucky enough to find any!!)
Follow directions on package for cake but bake in a well-greased and floured fluted tart pan if you have one, otherwise you could use a 9×13 pan or a round cake pan, whatever you think will make you happy.
Beat together softened cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in cool whip. Spread on top of the cooled cake. This is where the fluted tart pan comes in handy. It has a nice little well in the center that is perfect for holding all that sweet cream cheese yumminess. Now top that with your pineapple pie filling, or strawberry or blueberry or whatever!
Of course all good Easter Egg Hunts have to have cupcakes! So I made some of those too.
After all the preparations and concern over the weather conditions I think the day turned out great and the kids had a wonderful time. The sun came out and that Norman Rockwell imagine I had in my mind actually came true!
Happy Easter Everyone!