Before I do the the "big reveal" on how to make these perfectly delightful eggs, I feel it necessary to issue a public safety announcement regarding the addictive quality of these small chocolate enrobed delights.
They are very easy to make. First up, toast up some pecans pieces. This can be accomplished by placing some pecan pieces on a baking sheet. Oven at 350 degrees for about 5-7 mins. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt. The toasting time is directly related to how many nuts you are toasting at one time. Watch them carefully as they burn easily. Toast them and remove from the oven. You'll need them in a bit and you want them cool.
Time to make the caramel. Get a non stick skillet of at least 8". Gather all ingredients. There are only 5.
1 cup of granulated, white sugar
6 T of sweet, fresh butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
Heat the dry skillet to medium hot. Put the sugar in the skillet in 1/3 cup additions at a time. You will see the sugar begin to melt- losing its moisture- and becoming liquid. As this happens, its white granular appearance will be replaced by a liquid. Add another 1/3 cup of sugar and repeat until all one cup of sugar is melted. Not necessary to stir this mixture. Your non-stick skillet will allow for easy mixing using only the constant rotation (swirling) of the liquified sugar mixture. Continue this process until all of the sugar is liquified and begins browning. To avoid burning the sugar you will want to keep the sugar moving on the skillet constantly allowing it the time to gain the deep amber color you are seeking. It should be the color of dark golden.
When this color is achieved, turn off the heat for a moment, and being very careful (like you are when adding french fries to oil) stream in the cream. When the bubbling settles down a bit, again begin the rotation of the skillet and turn the heat back on. Add the butter. Continue the rotation of the skillet cooking for a few minutes as thickening occurs. Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla. If you like you may now use a wooden spoon to do the last mix. This mixture will be hot and can be placed now in a tempered, heat proof glass jar. It thickens as it cools.
When it is cool enough to work with (not too cool or stirring in the nuts will become difficult), stir in your toasted nuts and form into small round (eggs) placing on wax paper. When the carmel, nut eggs are cool enough to hold their shape they are ready to be immersed in chocolate and placed on parchment paper. You can double dip them, creating a thicker chocolate shell and evening out the eggs. After dipping, place on wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 mins. to solidify chocolate.
A word of warning to the wise....Making these special, delectable, delights for use in the Easter Basket while children are still in the house will almost certainly result in a complete absence of chocolate eggs for your basket. BEWARE!
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers