Maybe you're assembling an Easter basket for a foodie kid. Perhaps you want to leave the little ones in peace with their jelly beans and need a grown-up treat as incentive. We've scouted out gourmet Easter sweets that stand out from the crowd. Try one or all for the ultimate upscale Easter basket, or serve them for a sweet finish to your Easter Brunch or holiday dinner.
Eleni's New York has plenty of adorable Easter cookie options, but I'm especially smitten by the Rainbow of Rabbits. Mid-hop and hand iced in bright pastels, these are just about the jauntiest bunnies ever. Choose from a small gift box of 7 cookies (5 bunnies plus 2 small eggs) or a medium box of 32 cookies (24 bunnies and 8 eggs). Order at eleni's.com.
Cost: $19.50 for 7 cookies; $65 for 32 cookies.
Nothing says "spring" like flowers, and Pete's Gourmet offers a unique take on the theme with sweet little marshmallow lollipops. Made from gourmet, lavender-flavored marshmallows, each flower-shaped pop is dipped in dark or white chocolate and decorated with a colorful floral motif. Or, for a modern, minimalist take on Peeps, try Pete's all-natural, handmade marshmallows in assorted flavors. Order online at Pete's Gourmet.com.
Cost: $9.00 for 12 Spring Pops; $5.99 for 16 "Originals" flavored marshmallows.
Allison's Gourmet offers a nicely-edited selection of gourmet vegan Easter treats. I especially like the pretty foil-wrapped eggs with luscious truffle and caramel fillings. The assortment of 5 eggs includes cherry truffle, almond butter, espresso caramel, peanut butter, and raspberry truffle. Plus, Allison's treats are not only vegan, they're fair trade and organic, too. Order at allisonsgourmet.com.
Cost: $15.50 for 5 eggs (7 oz).
For a change from the ubiquitous almond dragees, try Recchiuti's elegant candied hazelnuts. Burnt caramel toasted hazelnuts are robed in chocolate, then encased in delicately-hued blue and green candy shells. The textural contrast and flavor complexity make these a sophisticated choice for Easter entertaining.
Cost: $14 for 6 ounces.
In a sea of look-alike rabbits, Vosges' chocolate bunnies are true stand-outs. With ears askew and inquisitive expressions on their sweet little faces, these solid chocolate bunnies are beyond charming. Alas, that probably won't save them from consumption -- they simply come in too intriguing a range of flavors! The Amalfi Bunny marries white chocolate with lemon zest and pink peppercorns; Barcelona Bunny pairs smoked almonds and grey sea salt with deep milk chocolate; the milk chocolate Toffee Bunny's namesake candy is tempered with pink Himalayan sea salt; and Orchid Vanilla bunny melds dark chocolate with intoxicating Tahitian vanilla bean. Order online at vosgeschocolate.com.
Cost: $12 for a 2.5 ounce bunny.