I love Easter. Well, we don’t celebrate Easter but I love the memory of Easter brunches in Toronto. We used to go fairly often to my parents’ friend’s place; they were like family to us. We would drive a good hour to get there and when we did we were rewarded with a table of the most exquisite brunch spread with salmon, pastries, charcuterie, cheeses, spring treats, and the most delicious looking tarts. There would be flowers everywhere and the best food you could find0. One year, we were given stunning chocolate bunnies probably from a fancy Toronto chocolatier. It smelled divine and was so beautiful I didn’t dare bite into it.
Every year, I love seeing what pops up in local shops for Easter. I look forward to finding the different renditions of hot cross buns. Some have icing crosses others have white crosses baked in. Cardullo’s is overflowing with imported Easter treats from England, Switzerland and Belgium.
This year, the Go Local Boston crew went out and about to find some of the best options for your Easter basket. With chocolates from Boston’s oldest chocolatier Phillips Candy House to Boston’s most renowned “newcomer” EHChocolatier. We went north to find bunnies and bees at Harbor Sweets. We went into Boston to visit newcomer from Japan: Royce’ chocolate. We went back out to Cambridge to scout out Spindler Confections. I went around the corner to find some playful non-edible basket items at Magic Beans and Gray Mist. We studied the displays at Wilson Farm. We oggled the shelves from top to bottom at Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe. We sought out cookie bakers and decorators. We picked up gorgeous, unique treats from Italy via Formaggio Kitchen, and here is a look at what we pulled together for you.
I look forward to seeing the cookies from Hi Rise Bread Company every year because their talented staff do such a good job creating fun and detailed designs. It was a bit too early for Easter at the bakery but I’ll keep you posted on Instagram when they’re ready. If you can’t make it to Cambridge, we also found an assortment of cute cookies created by different local bakers: Maca Boston, Bisousweet Confections and A Dozen Eggs.
When it comes to chocolates, I miss the ones we had as kids in Canada. I get my nostalgic chocolate fix of Smarties and Roses Chocolates at Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe. At Easter time, Cardullo’s has all different shapes and sizes of treats that are made especially for the Easter bunny.
As for local chocolate, you can pop over to Somerville and visit award-winning EHChocolatier where you will find chocolates made by perfectionists. The shapes are so sweet and unique and the flavours are truly perfect. For a small chocolatier, there is a lot of work going into creating new bonbons each season and batch after batch until the recipe is flawless.
If you head up Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, past Porter Square you will find newcomer Spindler Confections with boxes of sparkling sugared pâte de fruits, boxes of chocolates with unique themes (I particularly like the “brown liquor quartet”), as well caramels, chocolate caramel pretzels and nut butter cups.
For your Easter Basket or as a centerpiece for your Easter Brunch, Pure Sugar Candy, goes bold with colours and shapes all made out of sugar. Bisousweet makes cute cupcakes with Easter designs for your Easter egg hunt or Easter brunch.
You can stop into Formaggio Kitchen for something completely different whether it is local cheeses for brunch or some teas, honey and confections from all around the world as hostess gifts or for a basket that has something for everyone in the family. Pictured above are the fondant candies that come in flavours like apricot, lime, mint, and pear. In the background is a delicious strawberry and basil spring tea, with beautiful and delicious honey as well as a bar of Italian torrone (nougat). Pao de Brasil in Framingham has some impressive classic foil wrapped eggs as well. Be sure to pick up some Pão de Queijo while you are there too!