Make these easy chocolate candies for Easter baskets or to serve with Easter dinner. Pudding mix provides the chocolate for the centers. For the coating, you can choose either dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in pudding mix until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Turn into large bowl. Cover surface of pudding directly with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When pudding is completely cooled, beat in confectioners sugar with wooden spoon until smooth (mixture will be stiff). Stir in 1/2 cup almonds. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes or until mixture holds its shape.
Using 2 level measuring tablespoonfuls cream for each large candy or 1 level tablespoonful for each small candy, form into egg shapes. Place on small baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until eggs are firm.
Prepare desired chocolate coating (recipe follows).
Line baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Reshape eggs if necessary. Place eggs, one at a time, in chocolate coating; using a fork, roll egg around in chocolate to coat completely. Remove egg with fork, letting as much excess chocolate as possible drip back into bowl.
Place eggs on parchment or waxed paper lined baking sheet. Touch up coating with small metal spatula, if necessary. Let stand at room temperature until firm. If eggs become too soft while dipping, refrigerate to firm. Repeat process, dipping eggs in chocolate coating again. Let eggs firm completely.
Decorate with swirls of contrasting melted chocolate. Using thin spatula, loosen; place on serving platter.
Melt together chocolate and shortening in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water, until smooth. Pour into bowl. Let cool for 5 minutes.