Chocolate Easter eggs by the thousands

It’s been years since I did a chocolate Easter egg story. So when I heard the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Women were prepping for a season of peanut butter-mixing and chocolate-dipping, I had to find out more.

Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church is located in Galax, Virginia. Nancy Spicer, who the pastor called “the main egg-maker,” told me the United Methodist Women of this church have been making chocolate Easter eggs as a fundraiser for more than 35 years.

Connie Hughes dips the eggs into a pot of rich chocolate.

“We used to personalize each egg with their names in icing and put them on a bed of grass,” Nancy said. In recent years, the group has streamlined their creative work, while adding four additional filling flavors to the traditional peanut butter, chocolate-covered egg. The newer, more recent filling options are cream cheese, cream cheese and coconut, mint, and “Mounds” (coconut-caramel, like the candy bar).

The United Methodist Women price each egg at $1 each and sell as many as 3,000 each Easter, with a profit of about $2,000. They use the proceeds to support their chosen missions, including God’s Storehouse Soup Kitchen, Backpack Buddies (providing portable food for needy children to eat over the weekend), Angel Tree gifts at Christmastime, and Food City vouchers for hungry families. Local businesses help sell the eggs.

The group declined to share a recipe with us, but Nancy said each recipe makes 19 eggs and involves hours of work, including (1) mixing the filling; (2) chilling the filling; (3) shaping the filling into two-ounce eggs; (4) chilling once more; (5) dipping the eggs in a melted blend of semisweet chocolate chips and paraffin wax; and (6) pressing a decorative jelly bean into the center.

When I heard about these chocolate treats and saw some of the photos, I not only wanted to share them with you, our readers … I also wanted the guests in our free drive-thru meal ministry to enjoy them! I asked Mt. Olivet’s pastor, Terri Johnson Gregory, if the United Methodist Women would consider making us 150 eggs for $150.

They said yes! My husband Michael went to pick up the chocolate peanut-butter eggs shortly before our April 3 Easter lunch at Norwood United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

I want you to know that every single one of those rich, gorgeous eggs were handed out to a record drive-thru crowd of 162 this past Saturday. (Yeah, we actually ran out.) I was so proud of being United Methodist and of being able to share an old-fashioned, homemade treat all the way from Galax, Virginia. It was worth every penny, and I didn’t mind splurging a bit for a special holiday, a good cause, and our wonderful guests.

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