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Apr 18, 2014







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Fill your Easter baskets

• A. Little Confection (124 1/2 Main St., Concord, 219-0120, a-little-confection.com)

• Ava Marie Chocolates (Grove Village Shops, 43 Grove St. in Peterborough, 924-5993, avamariechocolates.com)

• Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier (121 State St., Portsmouth, 559-9778, byrneandcarlson.com)

• Candy Kingdom (235 Harvard St., Manchester, 641-8470, thecandykingdom.com)

• The Chocolatier (27 Water St., Exeter, 888-246-5528, the-chocolatier.com)

• Dancing Lion Chocolate (917 Elm St., Manchester, 625-4043, dancinglion.us)

• Granite State Candy Shoppe (9-17 Warren St., Concord, 225-2591, nhchocolates.com)

• L. A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates (47 Main St., Walpole, 800-229-2419, burdickchocolate.com)

• Nelson’s Candy (65 Main St., Wilton, 654-5030)

• Planet Marshmallow (81 Hanover St., Manchester, 625-8111, planetmarshmallow.com)

• Priscilla’s Candies of Derry (27 Crystal Ave., Derry, 432-3838, priscillacandies.com)

• Stella’s Fine Chocolates (176 Route 101, Bedford, 472-3131, stellasfinechocolate.com)

• Swan Chocolates (501 DW Highway, Merrimack, 423-5950, swanchocolates.com)

• Van Otis Chocolates (341 Elm St., Manchester, 627-1611, www.vanotis.com)





The whimsy and art of Easter desserts
Bunny Pants and other springtime treats

By Angel Roy aroy@hippopress.com



Chocolate bunnies line the shelves of Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord. Some are wearing top hats, some are made with both peanut butter and chocolate, others rock a pair of rollerblades and some even ride motorcycles. And the bunny doesn’t stop there.

“The variety is just out of control,” said Granite State Candy owner Jeff Bart.

Bart starts planning for Easter as early as November, wanting to be sure his customers can stock up at least three weeks before the holiday.

“We have to have everything people expect,” Bart said. Granite State Candy must also prepare to fill orders for its wholesale and private label accounts, including an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 chocolate bunnies for the Salvation Army in Manchester. The store sells more holiday-specific items for Easter than for any other holiday, Bart said.

A new addition this year is Bunny Pants — bright green felt pants with yellow suspenders, holding a 2.5-ounce milk chocolate bunny, a dark chocolate coconut cream egg, Bunny Tails and jelly beans. The idea was sparked by the Santa Pants staffers filled with candy for Christmas.

“They flew out the door,” Bart said. “When I saw I could get Bunny Pants, I had to.”

When Bunny Tails (marshmallow dipped in milk chocolate, then in white chocolate, and rolled in coconut) were the new Easter item last year, Bart said, he could barely keep them in stock. This year, he was prepared to make them in larger quantities.

A wall at Granite State Candy is dedicated to cellophane-wrapped woven wooden candy-filled baskets with tall handles. “Year after year, regardless of how old their kids are, people come in to get Granite State Candy Easter gift baskets,” Bart said. “It’s a long-time tradition.” Each basket is stuffed with shredded green paper “grass,” a sitting chocolate bunny, jelly beans, Bunny Corn (the Easter equivalent of candy corn), foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and a chocolate cream egg.

Solid chocolate sitting bunnies occupy the back corner of the store, some weighing as much as 15 ounces. “Little kids just gnaw on them,” Bart said. “It’s fun to see.” A 3-foot-tall chocolate bunny, displayed in the front window, is being raffled off (entry ballots are available at the store). The winner also gets a $100 gift card for the shop.

Heather Cox, owner of Planet Marshmallow in Manchester, created festive egg cartons, each one to be filled with an oversized gourmet flavored marshmallow and a few sugar-coated ones. The cartons are wrapped in bags filled with Easter grass. Expect to see such marshmallow flavors as raspberry chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, coconut, vanilla, s’mores, vanilla and chocolate peanut butter bash (some dipped in chocolate) at the dessert café.

Richard Tango-Lowy, owner of Dancing Lion Chocolates in Manchester, has made artisan chocolate eggs the focus of his storefront for the season, some clocking in at 8 inches tall: “They look like glass and they’re gorgeous,” Tango-Lowy said. Tango-Lowy learned the art of chocolate egg making from an Italian chocolatier in Tuscany. Chocolate eggs are filled with tiny milk and dark chocolate hearts at the Elm Street shop. Three sizes of Easter baskets filled with chocolate eggs, ganache lollies (a sphere of white chocolate filled with caramelized ganache, dipped in dark or milk chocolate and airbrushed) and marshmallows are also available at Dancing Lion.






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