BEYOND THE PEEP: THIS YEAR’S BEST EASTER TREATS

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We would never knock the beloved Peep. After all, the festive cloud-like favorites are as yummy as they are fun (who hasn’t experimented with exploding the little chickadees in the microwave?!). But there comes a time when every mature adult must realize that when it comes to Easter indulgences, there is life beyond. And it can be extremely delicious to boot.

To prove our point, we approached some of our favorite purveyors of delicious treats — including Olives & Grace (Boston), Modern Bite (Los Angeles), and Goddess & Grocer (Chicago) to find out their insider ideas for Easter gifting.

With artisanal delicacies, fresh baked goodness and unexpectedly awesome flavors in store, all we know is this: Peeps, you better up your game to keep up for Easter 2014.

Olives and Grace Boston - Best Easter Basket Treats 2014Olives & Grace, Boston

This South End spot specializes in all things handcrafted, so it’s no surprise owner Sofi Madison’s gift list is crammed with lots of thoughtful small batch musings. Recipients with a sweet tooth will go crazy for her store’s quality chocolates, including Droga Chocolates’ Put Your Money on Honey Caramels (honey-sweetened caramels covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt), and Askinosie Chocolate (72 percent dark chocolate sourced directly from farmers in Ecuador, Honduras, the Philippines, and Tanzania). Her chefs buddies are bound to adore the comfort food recipes in part cookbook/ part narrative Kinfolk Table, plantable herb-growing Sprout Pencils, creative cocktail guide Shake Cocktail Recipes and Morris Kitchen Grenadine Syrup.

Can’t decide which artisanal mix to give? Snap up an Olives & Grace gift card and let your Easter bunny enjoy choosing their favorites.

Modern Bite Boston - Best Easter Basket Treats 2014Modern Bite, LA

Hoping to make the design savvy fashionista or glamour girl in your life smile this Easter? With decadent desserts almost too pretty to eat, there’s no bakery that impresses like Burbank’s Modern Bite. Our mouths were literally watering when co-owner Daniel Shapiro gave us the rundown on his most seasonally appropriate sweets like pastel-papered boxes brimming with adorable tile cookies, fondant cakes adorned with truly stunning graphics and savory-meets-sweet Peanut Pretzel Toffee Cookies (um, yum). Consider a Modern Bite gift card to let your leading lady be a part of the super-fun picking-out process.

Putting that diet on hold has never been so worth it.

Goddess & Grocer Easter Basket Treats 2014Goddess & Grocer, Chicago

Debbie Sharpe of Chicago’s chic gourmet haven, Goddess & Grocer, knows exactly how to appeal to the finer Easter taste buds of foodies or really anyone who appreciates an interesting array. That’s why she’s filling this year’s basket with hypnotically painted Veruca Chocolates easter eggs that ooze with silky dark chocolate ganache, Zingerman’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Fudge Eggs made with browned butter and intense fruit preserves, Zingerman’s all-natural marshmallow bunny tails, plus totally odd and totally exciting Bacon Caramel Eggs by Vosges.

And there’s no need to fret if you can’t find the time to peruse Goddess & Grocer’s countless gourmand-approved options before Easter. A gift card to any of the locations lets your recipient have their homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting–and eat it too.

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