The Tricky Reason Chocolate Easter Bunnies Are Usually Hollow

Hollow chocolate bunnies have caused more than a few tears ever since Robert L. Strohecker, known as ​​'the father' of the chocolate Easter bunny, adopted the idea from Germany during the late 19th century. Strohecker created a five-foot-tall chocolate bunny to display in his Pennsylvania drugstore window, igniting the Easter tradition in the U.S. Since then, children have eagerly awaited the arrival of smaller versions nested within green plastic grass and colorful eggs that fill their Easter baskets, often biting the heads off immediately, discovering there's nothing but air inside.

Optimists will want to believe Mark Schlott's explanation for the hollow creatures. He's the CEO at R.M. Palmer, a major player in the hollow chocolate bunny industry, who says the company makes them this way for its customer's sake. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Schlott said, "If you had a larger-size bunny and it was solid chocolate, it would be like a brick; you'd be breaking teeth."

While dentists nationwide concur, skeptics doubt that the bigwigs at the hollow chocolate bunny factory are doing it solely for our benefit. Giant chocolate bunnies are highly marketable as the Easter basket's centerpiece, enticing consumers to go big with bunnies decked out in flashy pastel foil wrappers and whimsical props. From the company's advantage, a 12-inch hollow chocolate rabbit is cheaper to manufacture than a solid one, yet often more expensive at retail, increasing its profit margins. Either way, they're a cute holiday feature you can do a lot with. 

Recipes using hollow chocolate bunnies

Make the most of empty bunnies by filling them with a cocktail to enjoy with honey-glazed Easter ham. Use a heated knife to cut off the bunny's ears, creating an edible cup. If you don't want your hands covered in chocolate, keep the rest of the rabbit wrapped in its pastel foil.  

Fill the bunnies with any drink recipe that complements chocolate (dark, milk, or white). Creamy chocolate or coffee-flavored martinis containing Godiva liqueur, crème de cacao, or Bailey's Irish Cream are potent and tasty options you can garnish with a bit of whipped cream and a paper straw for an adorable presentation. To avoid dairy, consider adding hazelnut-flavored Frangelico to your cocktail. Or stick with classic whiskey-based cocktails like an old-fashioned or Manhattan, which taste great with chocolate. Fill some bunnies with a non-alcoholic option like chocolate milk or milkshakes, or go retro with Yoo-Hoo. If you buy the chocolatey drink, you may want to try the Absinthe-Crag, which combines Yoo-Hoo with Absinthe for a surprisingly tasty cocktail with a hint of licorice.

How about using the chocolate to make an Easter 'turducken' inspired by the savory dish created for Thanksgiving? It starts by stuffing a miniature Cadbury egg inside a marshmallow Peep. The Peep is then placed inside a hollow chocolate bunny cut in half. Once safely inside, a hot knife is used to reseal the seams, making the rabbit whole again.