To help you get in the mood for Easter, let me show you what I've been up to...Sugar! Sugar! Sugar! Everywhere! I swear my blood sugar jumped 50 points by just walking next to these:
This is what 42 sugared eggs start out looking like...84 half shells. Some friends helped me fill the molds and make the shells...and then they left, leaving me to scoop them out. It's not their fault, they were here TWO hours making the shells and they do have lives to live! And besides, how hard can it be to scoop out the eggs??? Well, let me tell you...half of them broke, which meant making more sugar, more molds, more of everything! It took me hours to get them remade because I kept breaking them...but, and I can't stress this enough, NOTHING was going to stop me...I LOVE SUGARED EGGS!!!
These are my o l d sugared eggs, ones I made for the girl and boy over 30 years ago! They are dotted now with dark spots, which is mold, and part of the frosting has fallen off, but otherwise, they look pretty good, no? I decided it was time though to make some new eggs, and misery loves company, so I invited the church ladies to make some, too. 16 people signed up, for a total of 42 eggs...it all seemed so easy until they broke! Oh well...live and learn, right? And I did learn...those recipes that tell you to put the shells in the oven to "crisp" up before you scoop them? Don't do it! Speaking of recipes, I'm not going to give you one, there are dozens of them online, all pretty much the same, but I will give you some tips, like not putting the shells in the oven (!) and hopefully you'll avoid my mistakes.
We didn't have really sturdy plastic molds...I bought some plastic eggs that were filled with candy and hoped they would work. The plastic egg "expanded" when the sugar was pressed in, so make sure your molds are made of heavy plastic that won't bend/expand or made from metal. It doesn't matter if you have two bottoms or a top and a bottom, when you put them together, just make sure you don't have a two tops! The bottoms have a flat surface and if you use a bottom for a top, that's okay because it gives the perfect "center" for decorating the top of the egg.
The tables were set with each ladies eggs, some only had 1 egg, some had a lot more! Each person was given the same amount of "goodies" to go inside the egg - they had a lot of things to choose from! (We charged the ladies $5 per egg...which was really a deal/steal! Sugared eggs are pricey and after making them again, I'm reminded why...they take SO much time and MONEY!$! (We went through 35 pounds of sugar, 3 dozen egg whites, and 28 pounds of powdered sugar!)
If the eggs end up with a few imperfections, sand paper can be used to smooth everything - just don't sand inside the house (which is what the ladies did !!!)...go outside as a fine dusting of sugar will go everywhere!!! After everything was cleaned up I gave myself a few days before I dived into making my eggs. My DIL helped me make my shells, we made some different colors because that's easy to do with one person, not with a group! Just so you know, the darker the outside shell of the egg, the harder it is to see the inside...so lesson learned, stick with lighter colors!
Oh, don't waste time sanding the inside of the eggs, they get covered up with the goodies. The inside of the bottom egg gets a nice thick coating of icing, which is what holds everything in place...bunnies, chicks, flowers, whatever you want. Once the inside is done, the egg is glued together, top to bottom, with a nice thick bead of royal icing.
Decorating the outside of the egg is fun - and goes quickly enough if the icing is right! Royal icing has to be thick enough to stay in place when piped on, but thin enough to pipe in the first place! Your arm will get a workout, just so you know! Using a decorating tip, the icing is piped on, little sugared carrots, flowers, eggs (that have been purchased, I'm not nearly crazy enough to try to make my own!) are then "glued" on...and one by one, all 12 eggs got done!
Max and Elsa will love their eggs, and while they are edible, they would not be good! The eggs themselves are made with just sugar and water but the icing is made with egg white, sugar and water...not at all appetizing!
Crazy is as Crazy does...if I ever even THINK of making sugared eggs again, somebody stop me!!
Happy Easter y'all!