No disrespect to the Easter Bunny, but there's a reason he plays second fiddle to Santa Claus each year. It's that ho-hum basket he leaves. Sure, we appreciate the thought, but it's pretty much the same thing year after year: some fake plastic grass concealing a small forest of tinfoil-wrapped treats, a cream-filled egg or two, a sprinkling of jelly beans, and a hollowed-out chocolate bunny that crumbles into waxy shards after just one bite. So this year, we're offering some suggestions on how our favorite bucktoothed home invader can up his game. Hear us out, Easter Bunny: By adding just two or three of the candies and confections mentioned below, you'll be giving Santa a run for his money in no time.
Customizable Bento Boxes From Sugarfina Bento Box
With its colorful cases of turquoise, pink, and lavender, Sugarfina has Easter-themed packaging down to a science. Luckily, what lies within these customizable bento boxes is no less delightful: an array of brightly hued speckled eggs and chewy gummies that you can pick and choose to satisfy any palate (or palette, for that matter). Simply select your box size—the smallest option holds three plastic cubes, each filled with dozens of candies—and fill it up with whatever catches your fancy. We're big fans of the diminutive, sour Fluffy Bunnies and the crunchy, candy-crusted Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs, but with over 100 options, there's something here for every sweet tooth. (Available online, starting at $25)
Cacao Nib and Fleur de Sel Mendiants From Recchiuti
These thin chocolate disks have a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a complex, pleasantly fruity bitterness. But it's the scattered cacao nibs on top that take them from memorable to exceptional. The crunchy bits of bean are toasty and flavorful in their own right, but Recchiuti goes the extra mile, tossing them in caramel and fleur de sel for a brightly salty-sweet finish that electrifies each bite. (Available online, $15/box of 17)
Caramel Popcorn From Jacques Torres
Yes, you could argue that there's nothing Easter-y about a bag of popcorn. But just one salted-caramel bite is enough to silence any qualms. Before it's packaged, melted dark chocolate is ladled over the kernels for rich, chocolaty clusters—just enough to add some complex bitterness to the liberal coating of nutty-sweet caramel, without interrupting the addictively salty, crunchy, eat-the-whole-bag-in-one-sitting ethos of Torres's creation. (Available online, $8.50/bag)
Polka Dot Egg From L.A. Burdick
There's more to L.A. Burdick's hefty four-inch eggs than meets the eye. Crack the thick, polka-dotted chocolate shell and you'll find a generous assortment of smaller sweets within—dense and velvety cocoa-powdered truffles in the bittersweet Dark Polka Dot Egg, or a jewel-toned jumble of tender, tart-sweet pâtes de fruit in its milder milk chocolate counterpart. (Available online, $24/egg)
Dark Chocolate Bunny From Harbor Sweets
Chocolate bunnies may be the Easter basket mainstay, but even the cutest-looking rabbits tend to be bland, waxy, and cloyingly sweet. When we reviewed over 20 different kinds of chocolate bunnies, the best of the dark chocolate bunch was from Harbor Sweets. Beneath the chocolate shell you'll find pieces of caramel, pecans, almonds, and butter-crunch toffee. Our tasters also liked the dark chocolate bunnies from Jacques Torres, which come in a variety of sizes to accommodate baskets both large and small. (Available online, $18.50)
Signature Easter Assortments From L.A. Burdick
L.A. Burdick's assortments are almost too pretty to eat, but they're not all about looks. White chocolate lovers who don't shy away from serious sweetness will enjoy the Signature Bunny Box, with its perky, hazelnut-filled rabbits and colorful sugar-encrusted marzipan eggs. Those more satisfied by creamy, dark ganaches and nuts should look to one of the Signature Wood Box Assortments instead: You'll get the same charming package with a more chocolate-heavy composition—tiny mice, nibble-size truffles, and a pleasing array of bonbons. (Available online, starting at $16)
Jelly Beans From Jelly Belly
There are plenty of upscale jelly beans out there, but we have yet to meet a single one that can usurp the Jelly Belly throne. Get fancy with a 40-flavor gift box, grab a 99-cent bag at the grocery store, or explore the company's myriad experimental collections—there's no wrong way to put these jellies in your basket...or your belly. (Available online)
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