Easter traditions bring to mind the egg….as in: egg decorating, hunting in the yard for colored eggs and those pastel-colored plastic eggs that split to hide wonderful surprises! We like to fill our plastic eggs with coins, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, and jelly beans (those new Starburst jelly beans have flavors that pop!)
Easter baskets can be filled with items from the hunt as well, like Peeps in all colors and shapes (yellow, purple, or pink chicks and bunnies) and Reese’s peanut butter or Cadbury creme or mini eggs have become big sellers that rate high with the kids!
The skinny on Peeps is that they do now come in a sugar-free version, but they have been around in sugary sweetness for years. Sam Born, an immigrant from Russia, was a candy maker who had a knack for speeding up candy-making processes—like his machine for putting sticks in lollipops. His store in New York City made the freshest candy that he liked to call “Just Born”. He took over a Pennsylvania company in the 1950’s that made marshmallow-shaped chicks by cranking a mixture through pastry tubes. Born’s son Bob mechanized the method from a 27-hour start-to-finish time per peep to a process that makes 4.2 million peeps a day and 1.2 annually. The little chicks now even pop out of chocolate eggs and are shipped to more than 50 countries—a worldwide sensation.
Look how sensational you can make your Easter table with this Peep bouquet assembled by Taste of Home. All you need are Gerbera daisies, Peeps in any shape, a bed of jelly beans ( or maybe lemon drops if you want a singular color and don’t want to sort) and two glass vases that fit into each other. Photo Courtesy: http://www.tasteofhome.com
Let’s get back to the eggs…and boiling and decorating. I had to look up how to boil eggs for dyeing a few years ago, as I am not a personal fan of the hard-boiled egg (even though they are touted as a great source of energy!) But I am a PAAS egg-dyeing fan.
They sure look pretty when they are finished. Watch http://www.mrfood.com/How-To-Videos/How-to-Make-Hard-Boiled-Eggs if you need help. OR you can take out the center of the eggs to preserve your decorating prowess.
Include your kids and their lung power to blow out the insides and preserve the eggs. Helpful hints on how to pin, poke, and then blow the eggs and afterwards bake briefly before you start the decorating: http://creeklinehouse.com/2013/02/how-to-blow-out-egg-for-decorating-and.html
If you want to decorate eggs but want to skip the dip and dye method, Cool Mom Picks blog showed some great ways to decorate using Sharpies! There is very little mess involved in the following Sharpie decorating picks. Sharpies on the shells of hard-boiled eggs that you plan to eat might not be the best, but you can create egg-cellent art on plain wooden eggs, plastic eggs, or hollow eggs. You can actually buy edible food pens from Wilton
The doodle egg can be your Easter decorating take on the relaxing adult coloring book trend. Try your hand at Alisa Burke’s Sharpie Doodles Easter eggs
The easiest route would be to take Paper and Stitch’s example of eggs marked up with simple geometric patterns—whimsical, yet simple. Check out the post: Sharpie decorated Easter eggs.
Take egg decorating to the other extreme, not as kid friendly but very elegant…Use a Golden metallic sharpie on brown eggs: This easy idea is from Waiting on Martha—make gold Sharpie decorated Easter eggs for a blend of class with a natural looking matte egg.
When you work for a business like Letter2word, you can’t help but be drawn to all typefaces and letters….these egg designs really jump out as a great way to decorate your brunch table and have a takeaway an “egg-ceptional” place card!
Artzy Creation uses a pointillistic style and stencils to create monogrammed Sharpie Easter egg.
So when the eggs are decorated and the plastic ones are filled, hide them all over your yard and watch the joy on the faces of the kids (who might be wearing their Easter finery) filling their baskets!
A few years ago, my mother-in-law bestowed two cast-iron cake molds to me, knowing that I love to bake and that I might actually relinquish her of the lamb cake-baking tradition. I must admit, I was a bit daunted by the task – the first year, I used the molds as decorations. The second year, I ran out of time and had to purchase a frosted cake in the shape of the lamb with coconut and jelly beans
But the third time’s a charm, last year, I was determined to rise to the challenge and did. Here is the picture I proudly posted on Instagram of the before and after –from empty lamb and hen molds to the cakes that filled my Easter egg plates.
Lamb cake luckily is a sweet delicacy, made of butter, eggs, sugar, not meat! Here is the recipe I received compliments on from the entire family—it didn’t even need frosting! Thank you Rachel Ray! This is a fabulous and simple cake recipe.
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, room temp
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- shredded coconut, food coloring, raisins or chocolate chips, jelly beans
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream butter in a large bowl, add dry ingredients (flour through salt); beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add sour cream, milk, egg and vanilla, beat 2 more minutes. Turn batter into bottom (face) of well greased and floured mold. Insert wooden toothpicks lengthwise into ears and neck for support. Grease and lightly flour top half of mold and gently place on top of batter. Make sure mold locks; tie with a string to make sure mold doesn’t separate as cake rises while it bakes.
Bake on a cookie sheet for 55 minutes or until a toothpick placed in steam vent comes out clean. Cool cake in mold for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the top half of mold and let cool in the bottom mold for 5 more minutes. Remove from mold and let cake cool on is side on a rack until completely cool - do not stand up until then.
It was actually prettier with a dusting of powdered sugar to show the shape of the amazing molds! The key to sliding out of the mold was loading it with butter and flour so it wouldn’t stick. Also, you only put batter in the face side of the mold –but add the back side of mold and then I tied mine with wire so that it wouldn’t pop open as the batter rose. It must cool in pan for 90 minutes. Another key? Put toothpicks in the batter to hold its neck and ears on.
“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
Have a Hoppy and Egg-ceptional Easter!
By: Ann K. Nicknish, The Blogging Word Girl, BWG
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