Note: If you came here looking for a recipe, please see the last paragraph for link.
For a couple months a year, it is very, very good to live in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. That is when our local gems, Zitner’s chocolate Easter eggs make their brief appearance. Like many Philadelphians, I grew up first seeing these eggs at the checkout counter of a Wawa convenience store, and I was immediately hooked.
There are a number of flavors available, but my favorite one by a mile is Butter Krak. Now I know what you’re thinking: Huh? How can candy with the words, “Zit, Butt, and Crack” — and misspelled, at that — possibly taste any good? Poor, illiterate Philadelphians with no sense of proper marketing language! You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. They are so good. They taste like Easter. They taste like childhood.
In a world of mass produced candy with infinite shelf lives, the centers of these eggs are still placed on wooden trays by hand in limited batches from the same factory in North Philadelphia since 1922. While some automation has occurred over the last 90 years, the recipe has remained the same. I still prefer the earlier versions of Butter Krak eggs which had little pieces of coconut poking through the chocolate (just like someone’s nana would have made in her own kitchen), but the machines they use for coating now provide a thicker layer of chocolate than when done by hand, and those stray pieces of coconut are now covered. Call me crazy, but that little detail makes a difference to me.
I can’t devour the chocolate Easter eggs like I once did, so I try to limit myself to two or three spread throughout the two month season. I love that they’re so little and 140 calories, so while eating one is very satisfying and always feels a wee bit naughty, it’s not doing too much damage. Assuming you stop at one. Which I highly advise.
I love these eggs because they are special to me, but I do wonder if they will hold the same appeal to food-loving folks who didn’t grow up with them. For this reason, I hesitate to yell, “EVERYONE MUST TRY THESE!” Nostalgia is funny that way, and I’m the first to admit it completely robs me of my objectivity. But just in case any of you non-Philadelphians or transplanted Philadelphians are interested, they can be purchased here or through the Zitner’s website.
EDITED: Feb 2013
The following recipe, while not an exact duplicate of Zitner’s Butter Krak eggs, is still quite good, especially if you use higher end chocolate. Give it a try!