Eater of chocolate and master budgeter Madeleine Chapman lays out the recipe for a killer Easter egg hunt.
Put on your Donnie Darko suit this weekend, sneak around in your own garden, then inevitably step on a marshmallow egg in August. It’s Easter, and it’s time to plan your Easter egg hunt.
Build the base
I love chocolate but the joy of Easter always came in the finding of the eggs, less so the eating. When Dad, who always mysteriously knew exactly how many marshmallow eggs were hidden, would announce that there was still one more egg to find, I’d happily walk around the yard for hours searching for it. If our hunt were to be extended to the whole of the suburb, I’d have been out there all day. Getting to eat the chocolate afterwards was merely a happy by-product of finding it. If you’re a psychologist, please tell me what this says about me as a person because I know it says something but I can’t afford therapy.
Psychoanalysis aside, if you’ve got kids who just want to find heaps and heaps of eggs, the $6 one kilo bag of budget eggs from The Warehouse is your base. They don’t taste good. In fact, they’re apparently not even solid chocolate but have a soft hazelnut centre. But in two weeks’ time when all the Cadbury eggs are long gone and you’re craving something, anything, with sugar in it, you’ll turn to those gross eggs and you’ll be thankful. Like Jesus, they may be very much dead to you for a while but they’ll rise again. And if not, $6 for 50 random shiny objects your kids will have fun finding is still a bargain.
Easter egg hunts are largely populated by all sorts of mini eggs. Oftentimes the mini eggs simply make up a trail for kids to follow, Hansel and Gretel style, to get to the ‘better’ eggs. But the better eggs range is limited. The two options are small hollow eggs and marshmallow eggs. Basically the two eggs that are the genuine, original Easter treats. There’s something about eating a hollow egg that just feels right. You may only consume a fraction of chocolate compared to solid eggs, but it’s hollow for a reason: inside is the spirit of Easter. Bless you.
Cadbury pretty much has a monopoly on the small hollow eggs, but have somehow managed to stuff up their marshmallow eggs. Remember the iconic gold and purple foil? They were the perfect eggs to hide. Shiny, wrapped, and with a bit of weight so they wouldn’t roll off the fence post at the slightest hint of wind. But now they’re nothing. Cadbury swapped out their cool foil for weird individual plastic wrappers. It’s a nothing package and not even shaped like an egg any more. RIP marshmallow eggs.
One year my sister saved money by buying the cheaper unwrapped marshmallow eggs and wrapping them in foil from our kitchen. So that’s an option too. But regardless, you can’t have an egg hunt without any better eggs. Small hollows are a safe bet. They’re a bit pricier but are good chocolate and, perhaps more importantly, less chocolate.
Creme eggs. Creme eggs are the special eggs. It feels like the range is much bigger since I was a kid but creme eggs are still the special eggs. Taste-wise, one creme egg is worth a whole kilo of dud small eggs. Having just a few creme egg or creme egg adjacents to find really ups the stakes of your hunt. They’re a prized treasure while also being small. Try successfully hiding a head-sized gold-wrapped hollow egg in your tiny backyard and you’ll see what I mean.
For the fancy parents
Lindt eggs and bunnies are obviously the fanciest of fancy treats. And yes, they will always taste good but they will also always be expensive. Personally I think the greatest Easter treat (and it’s a new one) is the mixed bag of Mars eggs. They’re cheaper than Lindt and are a selection of M&M, Mars, and Malteser eggs. It’s honestly a revelation. Be careful because you will 100% eat a whole bag without realising. If I had one universal recommendation for Easter eggs it would be the Mars mixed bag.
It’s only Good Friday and I’m already nearly sick of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. I know that by Sunday I won’t be able to look at a piece of foil without feeling a little bit ill. But what we must all remember is that chocolate shaped like little eggs is subjectively superior to flat chocolate. If you like chocolate, don’t be blinded by your overindulgence and self loathing. Stock. Up. They’ll be much cheaper after Easter and will age into an absolute delicacy by the time winter rolls around.
Think of the kids. Think of your future peckish self. Put all your eggs in one basket.
The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.