I have no idea why the small version is called jets, by the way, but that’s what the family calls them. Who cares, they are wonderful! These are not really hard to make, and don’t take a lot of ingredients, however, apparently it IS possible to mess them up, so I have provided lots of photos and will give a few more directions than I got when I first got the recipe. You will need:
- 1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar–this is about 10 cups and you may use more or less but have this amount on hand
- 3 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 dashes salt
- Yellow Food coloring (if you are making eggs)
- Bitter chocolate (I have always used baking chocolate and I think this is the same thing–unsweetened chocolate. Do NOT used any sort of sweet chocolate, you will be sorry–this is so important I will repeat it in caps DO NOT USE SWEETENED CHOCOLATE!)
Cream butter (or margarine) until soft. I use my big stand mixer. I am sure I used a hand mixer when I first made these since I didn’t have a stand mixer until later, but I know I burned a few hand mixers up in my life (one making divinity I recall because it was pretty spectacular and threw out pieces–you’ll hear about it when I blog my divinity recipe) but maybe also doing this recipe. I recommend a stand mixer if you have one or can borrow one.
I think Jordan probably erred by letting his butter get room temperature. I just chop it up a bit and then start creaming it. You don’t want it too soft or you will have trouble with it being firm enough.
Gradually add the sugar and half and half until you have a firm consistency. Let me say here that this time I ended up only using 2 lbs of powdered sugar and about 7 tablespoons of half and half. This is one of those recipes you just have to sort of go by ear (or feel–don’t use your ear literally) on. Remember, you are going to have to make little balls (or big eggs) out of this stuff and then dip it into warm chocolate, so it’s going to have to be something like the consistency of clay.
Add vanilla and salt and blend. Once you reach a stiff consistency that holds together, like the photo on the right, you are ready to form your eggs or jets (or a combination of both).
You can either make a second batch and color that batch with yellow for the yolks, or you can color half of this batch yellow, depending upon how many eggs you want to make.
To make eggs, simply roll a cylinder of yellow and then cover it with white. Smooth it out, so that the seams are blended. After it is finished, when it is cut, it will look like a boiled egg, with the white and then the yolk.
You can make them rounder if you want. If you make them longer there is just that more much more egg cream and chocolate goodness to cut into and enjoy!
To make jets, roll the buttercream into 1 inch balls. This takes awhile, and you should plan to put some of them into the refrigerator to stay cold while you are working on the others. I also find it’s a good idea to chill the tray you’re using beforehand as it will help keep everything nice and chilly.
After you have your eggs and/or jets made, they will need to chill thoroughly before you dip them in the melted chocolate. Go do something else and let them chill for an hour or more. You can even freeze them.
When your buttercream creations are chilled, melt your chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have one, fear not. Take a metal mixing bowl (I don’t suggest using one with rubber on the bottom!) and put it over a pan of water, it works just fine–just be careful not to fill the pot of water too full or turn it too high and do monitor it. Remember, hot things can burn you!
I know this isn’t pretty, but it works. I have had this old pot (it’s part of a pressure cooker) forever, it was my Mom’s and I still use it all the time.
I ended up melting an entire package of baking chocolate, and going back to the store for another box and using about half of the second box, so you should buy two boxes. You can start with one box of melted chocolate and add more as you need it. What you don’t use can be poured into a small bowl and allowed to reharden and used later for something else–it’s great grated into coffee!
Once the chocolate has melted, dip your egg(s) into the chocolate, using 2 forks to hold onto it, let it drip, and then set it on a chilled tray covered with parchment paper or foil.
Jets work the same way, except you only need one fork and remember that the chocolate is hot and you need to keep the jets and cold as possible. Take only a small number at a time out of the fridge or freezer and put them back in when you finish dipping them a batch at a time. And don’t make a mistake I made years ago, thinking you could just dump a bunch into the melted chocolate and then fish them out. No. Bad idea. Don’t do that.
This is tedious, but worth the effort. If you can draft someone else to help, do so. Promise them half the batch if you must. Look at that chocolate. MMMM.
When you have finished with your jets and/or Easter Eggs, they should all go into the fridge to chill until you need them. These need to stay cold unless they are being eaten. Oh, and the little prints from the forks on the Easter Eggs are bunny paw prints. Really.
These are wonderfully delicious but really rich and sweet. You can pop the jets into your mouth and just enjoy them. But the best way to eat the eggs is to slice them. They are really pretty, because you can see the white and the yolk, and they really do look like an egg.
If you are really talented at decorating, you can decorate them with your cake decorating frosting. I’m not, so after thinking of making some real decorator frosting I decided it wasn’t worth it for just one egg. I actually did do that back in the day for the kids, I’d put their names on them and probably draw bunnies or chicks or something, but it seemed like a lot of work now, so I just bought a few tubes of frosting and drew a pretty sad bunny and put Jeff’s name on it. So, you get the idea
The only bad thing about these is you really can’t ship them, but you can make them and have them around during the Easter season for friends who drop by (and this might increase the number of people who decide to drop by!) and heck, why wait til Easter anyway?!
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