Midday Fix: Sweet Easter treats prepared by Give Me Some Sugar chef Alekka Sweeney

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Chef Alekka Sweeney

Give Me Some Sugar
2205 W. Belmont Avenue
Chicago
(773) 281-3154
givesugar.com

Birdhouses for Peeps

Ingredients:
graham crackers
peep chicks
white icing
candy eggs
assorted Easter candies for decoration

Directions:
Break graham crackers into squares to use for house’s floor, walls and ceiling. For younger kids, use the top of a milk carton to “glue” the graham cracker to with icing. Older kids can “build” the house without the extra support – just brush the edges of the grahams with icing to glue together. Decorate the houses with pastel Easter candies, sprinkles, colorful sanding sugar – be creative. Cut pastel paper into thin strips, twist into “nests” (or use Easter grass). Decorate with pastel-colored chocolate eggs.

Lamb Cupcakes

Ingredients:
box of cake mix (follow directions on box to make cupcakes)
mini marshmallows
tootsie rolls
eyeball sprinkles

Directions:
Frost the cupcakes with the white frosting using a spoon or piping bag. Cut mini marshmallows in half width-wise so you have to shorter cylinder shapes.  It’s okay if the lengths of the two halves are slightly off – it will add texture to your lamb’s “fleece”. Press  wrapped Tootsie Rolls in your hand for a minute or as long as it takes to slightly warm the Tootsie Roll to make it soft. Press the Tootsie Roll into an oblong shape – sort of like “The Bean” in Millennium Park. Place two eyeball sprinkles on one end of the Tootsie Roll shape. Use a toothpick to press two “nostrils” into the other side. Pinch off a bit from another Tootsie Roll to mold into small ovals for the lamb’s ears. Make a ring of marshmallows around the edge of the cupcake (where the frosting meets the cupcake paper) by gently pressing the marshmallows, sticky side down, into the frosting. Place the Tootsie Roll face on one side of the cupcake, up against the marshmallow ring. Fill in the rest of the frosting with marshmallows, sticky side down.

Easter Basket Macaroons

Ingredients:
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons.  Use your fingers to press the middle of the macaroon into a nest shape. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool. Place candy eggs in the center.

Chick and Bunny Oreo pops

Ingredients:
yellow and white candy melts
Oreos
lollipop sticks
large marshmallows
eyeball sprinkles
pink M&Ms or pink jelly beans
orange Airhead candies or an orange fruit rollup

Directions:
Melt the candy melts over the stove or in a microwave (careful to melt only 30 seconds at a time so it doesn’t burn). Dip one end of the lollipop stick into the melted candy and insert into the white part of the Oreo. Allow to cool and harden. Dip the Oreo pop into the melt (white for bunnies, yellow for chicks).  Allow to cool and harden. Squeeze the sides of the marshmallow (not the top and bottom) just slightly so that it becomes more rectangular.  Use scissors to cut the marshmallow on the diagonal, from corner to corner of the rectangle. Dip the sticky exposed side of each marshmallow half in pink sugar sprinkles. These will become your bunny ears. Paint the tip of the marshmallow ears with white candy melts and place on the Oreo pop.  Use candy melt to “glue” on the eyeball sprinkles and a pink M&M nose. For the Chicks, use yellow candy melt to glue on the eyeballs.  Then cut the orange Airhead or fruit rollup into a tiny triangle for the beak.