Coloring Easter eggs is a holiday tradition for people of all ages, not just for kids, but dying a bunch of hard boiled eggs isn’t the only way to have an egg-cellent easter. The following are five egg-centric recipes that are all fun and tasty ways to celebrate Easter with a little flair:
- Instead of buying all your Easter candy, you can make your own Peanut Butter-Stuffed Easter Eggs. You can find egg-shaped molds online, but you can also actually use plastic Easter eggs as inexpensive and easy-to-find chocolate molds to make these delicious and addictive treats.
- If you want to test your culinary skills, these White Chocolate Panna Cotta Eggs are an elegant dessert choice for Easter. Delicate white chocolate panna cottas are served inside hollowed out eggshells. It isn’t a difficult process, but topping and cleaning the eggs is delicate work. Fortunately, the results are well worth it.
- With a little bit of food coloring, you can use your egg decorating skills to make a batch of Easter Egg Pancakes. These pancakes have stripes and swirls of color – just like regular Easter eggs. This probably isn’t a great choice if you’re going to be hosting a big brunch and need to serve a crowd, but it is a wonderful option if you are going to be making breakfast for a few Easter-loving kids.
- Cadbury Creme Egg Muffins have a miniature Cadbury Creme Egg baked inside. The eggs end up as a sweet surprise right in the center of the muffin, and the creamy fondant centers seem to caramelize slightly as the muffins bake to become even more flavorful than they start out.
- One of the most dramatic things you can serve at an Easter brunch is this Easter Egg Braided Bread. The bread is a rich, challah-like loaf that is studded with brightly colored Easter eggs. The eggs are added to the bread when they are uncooked and they actually bake in the oven, so they are just as edible as the bread is by the time you serve your dish.
I’ve always loved dying eggs in the springtime for Easter and have done it just about every year since I was a kid. Whether I’m doing a simple design or a more complex one, the colorful eggs are always fun to make. There are all kinds of kits out there that you can use to dye your eggs, and the Williams Sonoma Eco Eggs Egg Coloring Kit caught my eye this year. The kit includes all natural vegetable dyes that allow you to color your eggs in an eco-friendly way.
The kit is packed in a small egg carton and includes three packets of dye – purple, red and yellow – made of red cabbage, purple sweet potatoes, annattoo seeds and turmeric. Also included are two metal egg dipping tools and a carrot-shaped wax crayon that allows you to easily draw designs on your eggs before coloring them. It is not a big kit, nor does it include a wide range of colors, but the colors it has are good basics and you can use the included color chart to turn those three colors into a total of six colors for your finished eggs.
Easter is a holiday that moves around – but it is also a holiday that always falls on a Sunday, which is nice because it gives you plenty of time over the weekend to decorate easter eggs and do some Easter baking. Here are a half dozen ideas to get you started, all of which are easy to make and fantastic to serve at an Easter brunch – or just to enjoy at home with family, a cup of hot coffee and a giant chocolate bunny.
- A Braided Easter Egg Bread is one of my favorite breads to make for this holiday. It is a beautiful bread that is lightly sweet and buttery, that reminds me a lot of challah, pashka or similar egg breads. Not only is it tasty, but the bread is topped off with dyed Easter eggs and has an especially festive look to it!
- Easter Egg Shortbread Cookies are also topped off with Easter eggs – but they’re topped with chocolate ones. Take any brand of small, hard-shelled Easter egg candies and press them into these cookies while they’re still warm for a very fun way to easily decorate a cookie for the holiday.
- Hot Cross Buns are traditionally served on Good Friday, a few days before Easter, but the light and lightly spiced rolls make a nice addition to an Easter brunch if you serve them with butter and jam.
- Brightly-colored marshmallow Peeps are an Easter favorite and something that many people look forward to even more than Cadbury Creme Eggs. Peeps Cupcakes are vanilla cupcakes decorated with a nod towards sugar-coated Peeps, and they use whole marshmallows for garnish.
- Speaking of Cadbury Creme Eggs, did you know that you can bake them into a batch of Cadbury Creme Egg Muffins? The muffins have a whole Creme Egg baked into the middle for a sweet surprise when you take a bite. I find that mini Creme Eggs give the best egg-to-muffin ratio, but even whole Creme Eggs will work with the recipe. You can also put them to good use in a hot cup of Cadbury Creme Egg Coffee (which is not nearly as sweet as it sounds!).
- Finally, Lemon Buttermilk Easter Cookies are a great cookie recipe to bake for Easter. They are soft and have a nice lemon flavor that makes them perfect for the springtime. This is a cut out cookie recipe that is easy to decorate with a simple icing. I like to use a bunny shaped cookie cutter, but all you really need is a round cutter and you can decorate your cookies to look like festive Easter eggs.
Years ago, I was watching an episode of the original Japanese Iron Chef and was amazed to see one of the chefs cut the top of an eggshell off, cleanly, with a knife and then use the eggshell as a serving cup. I had seen eggshells used as serving cups on occasion before then, but the ease with which he sliced it off made a big impact – and made me want to do it myself. I’ve had some success in this department, but it seems safer and easier to use an egg topper.
An egg topper is a little gadget that is designed to cut the top off of an egg. They’re generally used to cut the tops off of soft-boiled eggs, cutting through the shell of the egg and removing the top piece of the egg white within to reveal the soft-cooked center. Simply place the ring around the narrowest part of the egg and squeeze the scissor-like handle to have a series of sharp, knife-like “teeth” poke through the eggshell. It works much more easily than trying to remove the top of the egg with a knife, and it is much more effective than carefully cracking the egg and peeling back the “lid” by hand.
I use a topper to make egg cups for dishes like my White Chocolate Easter Egg Panna Cotta. The gadget is small and inexpensive, and you get a big reaction when you serve a dessert this way. That said, you’ll definitely get a bit more use out of it if you are a fan of soft-boiled eggs.
Easter is basically synonymous with chocolate these days and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, it is hard to pass up an opportunity to get a little more chocolate into your diet. Chocolate bunnies are delicious, but I prefer chocolate Easter eggs – especially when the chocolate dessert in question happens to be White Chocolate Panna Cotta Easter Eggs.
For this dessert, I made a delicate and creamy white chocolate panna cotta and poured it into egg shells to set up before serving. The panna cotta itself is easy to make, with a base that is made with melted white chocolate and half and half. The white chocolate gives the creamy custard a real richness and a lot of body, without making it too sweet. The most important thing in making this panna cotta is to use good quality white chocolate (made with cocoa butter, not vegetable oil) and make sure that it is completely dissolved in the cream before finishing up the dish. If it is not completely dissolved, small particles of white chocolate may float to the surface of your custard and form a chocolate “crust” on top that distracts from the rest of the panna cotta.
To make the egg cups, I hollowed out the egg shells (saving the eggs for later use) and cleaned them thoroughly. I placed the eggs cut-side-up in an egg carton and filled them with the panna cotta mixture, then slid the whole tray into the refrigerator to set up. This recipe makes about a dozen egg-shaped panna cottas. The egg cups really complete the holiday look for Easter, but this dessert is good any time and you can also simply pour the panna cotta mixture into ramekins (I like espresso glasses for small servings) to set up.
Panna cottas are typically unmolded to serve by dipping the ramekin they were molded in in a dish of very hot water to loosen them, but you can serve the panna cottas in nice dishes without unmolding them, too. I served the egg panna cottas right in the shell. Make these in advance and allow them to set up overnight before serving.