Some of my favorite memories of my boys growing up happened on Easter mornings. That’s because my husband and I put crepe paper up in the hallway the night before as a reminder to the boys they were not allowed to go downstairs until we were awake. That meant they’d sit on the top step of the stairs and scope out all the eggs they could see in the living room. Listening to these two plot who would get what colored egg and which the Easter Bunny meant for them, had the husband and me giggling behind our closed door.
Once we finally gave in and let the hunt begin, the boys would race through the living room finding all the places the bunny had hidden his treasures. As young kids the bunny helped them out by putting colored Easter grass with all the hidden eggs, it was something my husband’s mother did, so we carried on the tradition. After opening all their eggs, counting up their money, and stuffing as much chocolate into their mouths as they could, we’d have a big Easter breakfast. After breakfast, they’d get their regular Easter Baskets filled with outdoor toys like bubbles, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and more and they’d head outside to use them. We’d also head to the in-laws and my parents for a few more egg hunts – it’s just not a holiday unless you have enough chocolate in the house to last a month!
Easter Traditions – When Our Children Became Adults
My kids are adults now, but they still love Easter Baskets. Granted now they’re filled with gift cards, Blu-ray’s, and electronics, but that’s not to say that candy isn’t still a big part of them, because it is. We also try to have brunch when work schedules allow and, of course, there are always sweet treats to share and often an outdoor toy or game because we refuse to grow up, and so do they!
This year I’m making (see recipe below) to go along with the Easter crafts I’ve already made (see Glitter Candle Tutorial and Add Some Sparkle to Flameless Candles (or regular wax); Easy Easter Crafts: Wooden Pennant Banner; and Easy Easter Crafts: Painted Pots featuring WHOPPERS ROBIN EGGS and REESE’S Peanut Butter Bunnies) and am hoping we’ll be able to get together to enjoy it. If not, we’ll be packing up the treats for them to take home with their Easter Baskets to celebrate when they can.
Having traditions is part of what makes us a happy family and creates so many great memories.
- :Brownie Layer
- 1 c non-salted butter, melted
- 1-1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 c granulated sugar
- ¾ c Cocoa, unsweetened
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Cheesecake Layer
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened (2 packs)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups chopped Peanut Butter Cups (mini or large) - reserve a few for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a 9" x13" baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray or line it with aluminum foil.
- Brownie Batter
- In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on low until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed after each addition.
- Add the Cocoa and mix on low speed. Scrap down the sides and continue mixing until fully combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until combined (or combine by hand).
- Measure out one cup of brownie batter and set aside. Pour the rest into the prepared pan; set aside.
- Cheesecake Layer
- Rinse the mixing bowl and beaters ending with cold water. Dry and add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat at medium speed until it's smooth. Add the granulated sugar, scrape down the sides, and beat again.
- Once smooth, add the vanilla and the eggs, Beat again at medium speed until creamy - scrape sides and beaters as necessary.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the brownie mixture in the prepared pan and using a spatula, smooth it evenly over the brownie batter.
- Sprinkle the cream cheese layer with the chopped REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups evenly.
- Top the candy layer with the reserved browning batter by dropping it by spoonfuls leaving much of the candy layer exposed.
- Use a butter knife to gently swirl the batters together if desired to combine them or leave them as separate layers.
- Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove to wire rack and cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerate leftovers (though I prefer mine cold and refrigerated after cooling and before serving)