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[But Breaks the Rules! (ed.)]

Toronto Daily Star, Thursday, March 8, 1962
Written by Margaret Carr

(Then Cooking Editor for the Womens' Section of the Star)

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Scarboro, the oldest church in the Township, has come a long way from the early pioneer days when David and Mary Thomson (the first settlers in Scarboro) donated a part of their land for the building site of this church. In those days, farmers came many miles by horse and buggy to attend services - my early memories are of chugging there every Sunday in a model-T Ford, or in the winter by horse and cutter with my grandfather.

Now the beautiful farms which once surrounded it are gone, and the old church, with Scarboro General Hospital in the background, has gracefully blended into suburban living. The Women's Missionary Society has been augmented by the Women's Association, who, as in many churches throughout Canada, are the working corps which strives hard and long to raise funds for church projects. This I know from the many letters I get from group conveners, asking for help and suggestions.

On March 24th, St. Andrews' Association is planning their annual Easter Egg and Home Baking Sale, with a tea highlighted by a fashion showing of spring hats.

I heard about the ladies' Easter Egg sale last year, and it seemed an excellent idea for fundraising. I made a mental note to delve further into the subject, with the result that my children have already received and eaten their Easter Eggs, and are clamoring to learn how to make them themselves. With the directions given here, I think they could without too much trouble.

Quickly Made

Easter eggs, the ladies feel, are one of the easiest and most profitable projects they have come up with to date. It is necessary for them to get together one or two days only, and working on an assembly-line basis, they can put together a very large number of Easter eggs at one working bee. They require one session to prepare the fondant and make the flower decorations for the eggs, another session to dip the eggs and decorate them.

This year, now that they have passed the experimental stage, they have started earlier, and the fondant dough is already made up and stored in the freezer. About a week before their sale, they plan to get the assembly line into operation for the finishing stages.

Last year they made about 200, and were almost immediately sold out, with people on all sides clamoring for more. This year they feel they can enlarge the quantity considerably.

Most eggs were made in one-quarter pound size - though they made some larger eggs in the one-half pound size. The one-quarter pound eggs sold for 40 cents, the one-half pound eggs 75 cents apiece. I figured out the approximate cost of making my own batch at 9 cents per egg. This did not include the cost of packaging, and of course, I bought my materials at the store, not at wholesale prices, which it is possible for groups to do.

Chocolate-Coated Easter Eggs
(Makes 18 four-ounce Easter eggs)

Fondant Dough

  • l can (15 ounce) condensed milk
  • 1/2 pound margarine, softened
  • 3 pounds sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Cream together margarine, vanilla and salt. Add condensed milk and beat till smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar. When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, mix in the remaining icing sugar with the hands. Continue kneading with the hands (15 minutes) till the paste is very smooth. The mixture should not be sticky, and will resemble pie pastry.

Place fondant dough on waxed paper; divide into three fairly equal parts. Use one portion for the egg yolk portion with a few drops of yellow food coloring, kneading as much as necessary to get a uniform color. Form into a small roll and divide into 18 pieces or yolks.

Place one yolk in the centre of each egg white. If the eggs are to be sold, this is the time to weigh them to make sure they are a minimum of 4 ounces each. At this point it will be easy to adjust the weight with a little more egg white. Someone in the group will probably have a baby scale which will do this very well.

Mold the yolk and white into an elongated egg shape. I found rolling the fondant dough into a ball with my hands and then gently pressing the ball outward was best. The shape should not be too flat - a rounded surface is more satisfactory for decorating. Set the molded eggs aside for at least a day or overnight before dipping in the chocolate. I would suggest turning them at least once, to make sure they are dried thoroughly.

Dipping Chocolate

  • 1 pound semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3/4 slab of paraffin wax (3 ounces)

Put the chocolate and wax into the top of a double boiler over hot water and allow to melt, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is smooth and shiny. It is now ready for dipping, and may be taken off the heat temporarily, but should be returned frequently to keep the chocolate shiny. The chocolate and wax will separate, so should be stirred well before each egg is dipped into it. Several methods could be used for dipping the fondant eggs into the chocolate. Kitchen tongs, a two or three pronged fork, or even the fingers could be used. The tongs should be dipped in chocolate first before picking the egg up so no bare patch will be left. Both the tongs and fork will leave a mark on the egg, but this is easily covered with the decorations.

If the fingers are used, and I personally prefer this method, hold the hardened fondant egg between the thumb and forefinger at the ends, and dip the bottom half into the chocolate. Let it drip for a minute, and then turn it over and place on individual squares of waxed paper to dry. This takes a very short time.) When the eggs have all been dipped on one side, they will be ready to be turned over and dipped on the other. By leaving the eggs on the waxed paper squares, they are much easier to handle for decorating.

Ornamental Frosting

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 pound and 1 cup sifted icing sugar (about)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Put egg whites in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Beat 3 minutes with perforated wooden spoon, fork, wire whisk, or electric mixer at medium speed. Repeat until 1 and 1/2 cups sugar are used. Add cream of tartar. Add sugar by spoonfuls, beating until frosting is stiff enough to hold its shape. Test with a spatula or silver knife, by making a cut through mixture. If frosting remains parted, it is the right consistency.

This frosting is used to make decorations. Small portions may be mixed with colors of your choice to make flowers, leaves and stems. Force the frosting through a pastry tube to make the desired shapes on waxed paper and allow to dry. These could be made several days ahead of time and stored in a cool place. Put a scalloped border around the middle of each chocolate egg with a pastry tube. Flowers are attached to the egg with a dab of fresh frosting. Leaves and other decorations, such as names, are put directly on the egg. Allow one day after decorating before packaging.

Aftermath to the Easter Egg Story
By Nancy McCowan, 1992

The above write-up in Toronto's largest newspaper brought some startling results. There were some chocolate candy manufacturers in Toronto who took exception to the fact that the chocolate coating on the eggs contained paraffin wax - even a small amount of it. They said that according to the rules made by the Health Board for them as manufacturers, they were not allowed to use paraffin and that we should abide by the same rules. The paraffin was the agent which helped the chocolate harden quickly to a shiny surface on the egg. Without the wax, the eggs proved to be too difficult for the ladies to make and so the project was abandoned.

I now (1992) live in Pickering Township where there is a church group which makes hundreds of eggs each year for their biggest money-making project. I would not be surprised if they use the same recipe which had been printed so many years before.

From The Scarboro Heights Record V10 #1