Whether you actually have Easter baskets in your house or just enjoy sweet treats, this Weekend Projects post is sure to tempt your sweet tooth.

Chick Cake Pops: 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.comHomemade Marshmallow Peeps: 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.comHomemade Cadbury chocolate creme eggs: 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.com

    • These little chick cake pops from Bakerella are just the height of cuteness.
    • Peeps used to be a favorite of mine until they started showing up for every holiday. But I do adore a good marshmallow candy, so maybe I’ll try making my own homemade version of their classic bunnies and chicks with the recipe and directions provided by the team at Martha Stewart.
  • The recipe for that Easter classic, the Cadbury egg, has been decoded by Instructables and now you can whip up a dozen chocolate creme eggs of your own. Is it me or does it seem like the store bought versions aren’t as ooey-gooey delicious as they used to be? Years ago the filling always seemed to be leaking out the chocolate egg, but in recent years the innards seem to have become more viscous (and less delicious).

Pate de fruit (fruit jellies): 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.comsfingi (Italian donuts): 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.comStrufoli (Italian honey balls): 6 Sweets and Treats for Spring | countingtheleaves.com

  • Instead of regular ‘ole jelly beans why not try pate de fruit? There are a few different approaches out there including using  unflavored gelatin,  liquid pectin, or (if you’re a candy making pro), you might want to try this more professional version (with metric measurements) at Pastry Chef Online that uses powdered pectin, citric acid and  Boiron purees.

Okay, these last two are really St. Joseph’s Day desserts, but close enough (the Feast of San Giuseppe was on March 19 this year). Despite my insatiable sweet tooth, and the fact that every available surface was covered with baked goods before every holiday in my Grandmother’s flat, it was only when she made these two special treats that I was really interested:

    • Sfingi…the way my Grandma made them these were little drops of heaven. Despite it being somewhere around 30 years since I had them last, I can still remember their delicately chewy texture and how they seemed like eating the puff of a cloud. While I’m sure no one could re-create them as magically as my Grandmother’s, these recipes seem like they might be somewhat similar:
      • This version posted to RootsWeb feels the most authentic to my childhood, and uses baking powder and milk
      • This variation added to Taste Book includes cake yeast  and vanilla
      • And this recipe on Cookies From Italy includes yeast, extra virgin olive oil and lemon peel (which seems the furthest from what I remember of my Grandmother’s recipe, but they had the photo above)
  • Strufoli (Italian honey balls). These smaller, denser and more crunchy cousins to sfingi are coated in honey and sprinkles. According to various postings on the web they are a traditional Italian treat at Christmastime, but in my family I only recall seeing them in the spring.

Strufoli image from Staten Island Food and Wine