"The Easter Bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Alsace and southwestern Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1600s. The first edible Easter Bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s and were made of pastry and sugar.
The Easter Bunny was introduced to America by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the "O_ster Haws_e" (a phonetic transcription of a dialectal pronunciation of the German Osterhase) was considered one of "childhood's greatest pleasures," similar to the arrival of Kriist Kindle (from the German Christkindl) on Christmas Eve."
Info from Wikipedia.