From lavishly decorated hardboiled eggs in the morning to a succulent glazed ham in the evening, Easter is one of the great food-filled holidays. But when it comes to the most decadent of treats, it’s hard to compete with a basket full of candy. Exactly which sweet treats are the most tempting of all? Well, it depends on who you ask. We reached out to 11 well-known chefs to get their expert opinions.
What candy do you want in your Easter basket?
“I love matcha Kit Kats because it reminds me of Japan and it’s crunchy and creamy at the same time. I always get it whenever I’m in an Asian grocery store.”
—Takashi Yagihashi, Chef/Owner, Slurping Turtle
“Butter popcorn jelly beans by Jelly Belly are my favorite candy to nibble on. It really tastes like popcorn and I feel like it transports me to the movie theatre each time I pop a couple in my mouth.”
—Nina Compton, Chef/Owner/Top Chef Season 11 Runner-Up
“My favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. As a kid the only way that I ate them was by eating the outer chocolate crust and then finishing with the filling. It was an interesting combo of salty and sweet that made me fall in love. Interestingly enough that is the flavor combo that I cook with now; I try to balance sweet and salty as much as I can.”
—Carolina Diaz, Executive Chef, Filini Bar & Restaurant
“Mast Brothers is definitely one of my favorites. The chocolate is some of the best I’ve ever had and they do such a great job of showing the range of flavors in cocoa. Their packaging is also so well designed; they are a go-to gift for me as well.
Ample Hills Creamery is down the street from our apartment in Brooklyn and is a favorite with my entire family. They have really clever combinations of flavors—sort of a Willy Wonka of ice cream vibe. Their Salted Crack Caramel is nuts; it hits that perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Also, Sweet Loren’s: Loren is a new friend and doing game-changing, ready-to-bake cookie dough. She’s using all the right wholesome ingredients and making cookies I actually feel good about feeding my daughter. Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations and her Peanut Butter Chocolate cookie dough makes mind-blowingly good cookies.”
—Thomas Kelly, Chef/Partner, Mexicue Kitchen & Bar
“Cadbury Mini Eggs are my favorite. I start hunting for them shortly after Valentine’s Day and stockpile enough to get me through early summer. I like them because usually store-bought chocolates have a gritty, unrefined mouth feel, but Cadbury is super smooth under that crunchy shell.”
—Tara Glick, Pastry Chef, American Cut
“My favorite candy is Sublime, made by Nestle. Sublime chocolate bars are a Peruvian favorite made with sweet milk chocolate and Peruvian peanuts. This is reminiscent of my early childhood days, and is the only candy I really love!”
—Jesus Delgado, Executive Chef, Tanta
“I love Swedish fish (only the red ones), root beer barrel candies, and Cadbury Eggs. I would get the Swedish fish and the root beer candies at the pool in my neighborhood in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; eating them always reminds me of summer. Cadbury Eggs were always for Easter. My parents would hide Easter baskets for me and my brother. Because the Cadbury eggs are big, we would only get one or two. I would eat them last and be on a sugar high for a couple hours.
For higher end, Amedei (to bake and eat). I started using Amedei when I worked in London for my first head pastry chef job. Using it always reminds me of that time in my life.
—Kathryn Goodyear, Pastry Chef, Barchetta
“Peeps. I love Peeps. I could eat five bags of them. They’re not marshmallows, they’re better than marshmallows; they’re Peeps. Not a fan of Cadbury Eggs, but I do love the commercials!”
—Jeff Mahin, Chef-Partner, M Street Kitchen, Stella Barra & Summer House Santa Monica
“Jelly beans are my all-time favorite ‘springtime’ candy. I grew up on Brach’s and was mixing and matching flavors in my mouth before it became trendy to create hybrid flavors. Then, I discovered Jelly Belly, which I like to think is a natural progression for jelly bean lovers.”
—Colleen Grapes, Executive Pastry Chef, Oceana