Off with his ears! Next, the head, the tail and the feet.
A few days later, though, there’s probably still something left of your Easter bunny or if you tackled him first, the other chocolate in your basket. After all, Easter is second only to Halloween in candy sales, and more than 90 million chocolate rabbits are produced each year, according to the National Confectioners Association.
Sure, you could just eat the evidence. But with chocolate prices skyrocketing — Hershey just announced wholesale increases of 9.7% — why not grate or melt down your bunny and then use him in cooking? For ham, eggs and other holiday leftovers, see last year’s Easter leftover recipe suggestions.
As with our earlier $10 challenges (dinners, vegetarian fare, winter holidays, romantic, and slow cookers) we asked food and finance bloggers, as well as chefs and home cooks, to send in their best suggestions; this time, for a favorite meal that utilizes leftover holiday chocolate. A few of those earlier challenge recipes fit the bill, too.
(All cost estimates are based on non-sale New York City supermarket prices. If it’s a cheap meal in NYC, we figure cooks in most other places in the country will spend even less. Prices are also adjusted for quantity: if a recipe calls for half an onion, you’ll probably find something to do with the other half. Finally, cost estimates don’t take into account pantry staples you likely already have, such as flour, olive oil or dried spices. In this case, we’re not counting the chocolate, either.)
Chocolate-covered strawberries, fondue and ice cream mix-ins are a few of the obvious uses, but here are a few more inexpensive recipes to try:
Heavenly Chocolate Pots
Cost: $0.75, or $0.13 per serving
Gurapeet Bains, the author of Indian Superfood, likes this rich and spicy dessert. Place six ounces chopped chocolate, a teaspoon of instant coffee powder, one-third of a teaspoon of ground ginger and a pinch of chili powder in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour in two egg yolks and blend until combined. Set aside. Gently heat five ounces of low-fat milk in a saucepan to boiling point, and then pour it into the food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into six small glasses. Refrigerate for six hours before serving.
Chocolate Drizzle Bread Pudding
Cost: $1.32, or $0.15 per serving
Substitute leftover Easter bread for the recipe’s Italian bread, and Easter chocolate for the semisweet chocolate chips, and this dessert recipe is super cheap, says Sarah Skerrett, the editor of Mr. Food.
Chocolate Bunny Lava Cakes
Cost: $2.30, or $0.29 per serving
Your chocolate bunny is perfect for this recipe, says Sarah Kauss of New York. Heat 8 oz. chocolate and one stick of butter in the microwave until melted, and let cool. Whisk in four eggs and four egg yolks. In a separate bowl, blend a half-cup flour and one cup powdered sugar. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Butter and sugar eight ramekins, and pour in the batter. Chill for two hours. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, until the outside is baked but the center is still somewhat liquid. Let stand four minutes, and then remove from ramekins and serve with ice cream.
Barbecue Chocolate Sauce
Cost: $4.37, or $0.44 per serving
Dark chocolate connoisseurs can use some of their Easter haul to modify a favorite jarred barbecue sauce.
Chocolate Play Clay
Cost: $1.75, or $0.44 per serving
Adding peanut butter and confectioners sugar turns chocolate into an edible version of Play-Doh, says Skerrett. The recipe calls for chocolate frosting, but melting down Easter candy should work just fine, with a little more peanut butter and sugar to balance the more liquid chocolate.
Cost: $3.65, or $0.61 per serving
Tasha Mayberry of Danbury, Conn., makes a tiered dessert starting with a layer of chocolate pieces, topped with a two-inch layer of chocolate pudding and one of whipped topping. Repeat as needed, ending with the whipped topping. Shave chocolate pieces on top. (Frugal Foodie’s mom makes a death-by-chocolate version of this with cake as an extra layer. Just bake a chocolate cake, and let cool. Crumble it and add cake pieces between the candy and pudding layers. You can even make an adult version by poking holes in the cooling cake with a fork, and drizzling a cup of Kahlua on top.)
Mock Moon Pie Cookies
Cost: $4.95, or $0.62 per serving
Low-fat crackers and just a thin layer of chocolate make these cookies ideal for dieters, says Sarah Hetland, an editor for RecipeLion.com.
Cost: $5.98, or $1.50 per serving
Frugal Foodie uses some of the dark chocolate from her Easter basket each year to make this ragout. You can use a little more chocolate if the wine is particularly dry, but be sure to taste the recipe first — a little chocolate goes a long way. Clean and slice a pound of mushrooms (regular white button mushrooms are fine, or you can go with fancier varieties). Set a pan on medium-high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a chopped clove of garlic and the mushrooms, and sauté until brown. Add three-quarters of a cup of dry red wine, and a pinch each of ground salt, pepper, cardamom and nutmeg. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, and then stir in a half-tablespoon of dark chocolate shavings until melted.
Spring Green Salad with White Chocolate-Orange Vinaigrette
Cost: $6.15, or $1.54 per serving
Whisking white chocolate into the dressing adds a sweet note that complements the fruit in this salad, from Sandra Lee at the Food Network.
Quick Chocolate Soufflé
Cost: $3.25, or $1.63 per serving.
Substitute some of your sweeter chocolate and skip the powdered sugar on the soufflé recipe from our romance $10 challenge.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.
Photo credit: anee.baba