Easter Eggs (see Vanilla Variation):
cup butter or margarine
(3-ounce) package chocolate pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
teaspoon almond extract
cups powdered sugar
cup finely ground blanched almonds
MILK CHOCOLATE COATING
ounces milk chocolate chips
tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE COATING
ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
cup sold vegetable shortening
WHITE CHOCOLATE COATING
ounces white baking chips
cup solid vegetable shortening.
MAKE THE EGGS: Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in pudding mix until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Turn into large bowl. Cover surface of pudding directly with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pudding is completely cooled, beat in confectioners' sugar with wooden spoon until smooth (mixture will be stiff). Stir in 1/2 cup almond meal. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes or until mixture holds its shape. Using 2 level measuring tablespoonfuls cream for each large candy or 1 level tablespoonful for each small candy, form into egg shapes. Place on small baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until eggs are firm. PREPARE CHOCOLATE COATING: Melt together chocolate and shortening in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water, until smooth. Pour into bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes. 5Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Reshape eggs if necessary. Place eggs, one at a time, in chocolate coating; using a fork, roll egg around in chocolate to coat completely. Remove egg with fork, letting as much excess chocolate as possible drip back into bowl. Place eggs on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Touch up coating with small metal spatula, if necessary. Let stand at room temperature until firm. If eggs become too soft while dipping, refrigerate to firm. Repeat process, dipping eggs in chocolate coating again. Let eggs firm completely. Decorate with swirls of contrasting melted chocolate. Using thin spatula, loosen; place on serving platter. Vanilla Variation: Substitute 1 package (about 3 ounces, 4 servings) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant) for chocolate, 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla for almond extract, and 1/4 cup finely chopped red candied cherries for almonds. This variation is harder to shape than the chocolate egg; refrigerate overnight.