“Crack Me” Candy Filled Easter Eggs

Are you ready for this?  Real eggshells, dyed rich,  beautiful colors, filled with little candies, and the only way to get the candy is to crack ‘em open! When I saw these on the very cool Not Martha where, by the way, she calls them Easter Surprise Eggs (the easy version), I knew I would be making some.   Yes, I admit, they do take some time but I love the whole idea.

First you need to get the raw egg out of the shells, than you clean the shells, dye them (Megan of Not Martha has wonderful recipes for the colors), let them dry overnight…I’m going to say that again: let them dry overnight, give yourself enough time for all the steps (yeah, I know Easter is almost here), fill them with cute little candy and glue on a paper cup and a “crack me” note.

Candy Filled Easter Eggs

Supplies:

Eggs – you may as well do at least a dozen – I did two batches because I loved how the first ones turned out

A Dremel or Egg Topper or Sharp Knife (and steady hand) to cut the eggs open (see more about this in my comments below)

Regular and Neon Food Coloring by McCormick it’s the familiar label you see at the grocery store – I got mine at Safeway

White Vinegar

Glass Jars or Measuring Cups in which you will dye the eggs

Rack for drying eggs

Candy – small stuff to fit into the eggs

Mini Muffin Papers or Candy Cups

Glue – to adhere muffin papers to hollow eggs – I used Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

The reason Megan at her wonderful site Not Martha calls these eggs “easy version” is because she’s also shows how to use empty eggshells, dyed the same way, but first coating the insides with both dark and white chocolate before putting in candy and small toys!  You might be familiar with Kinder Eggs, a European hollow chocolate egg with a toy inside.  I read that they were banned in the US last April because they have a “non-nutritive object imbedded in it.”  Megan was inspired by both Kinder Eggs and Cascarones: hollow eggs filled with confetti and broken over the head of friends which is supposed to bring good luck!

These aren’t something you’ll want to do in one sitting.  But they are doable.  Each step is relatively simple and the results are beautiful and lots of fun.

Directions:

I used a Dremel Rotary Tool with a diamond blade (thanks Rem) and very carefully cut off a disc of shell from the wide end of the egg. On Not Martha Megan uses an egg cutter and notes other people have mentioned using manicure scissors and very sharp knives.  The Dremel was great but I suggest goggles (I just wore my regular glasses) and you might want a bandana over your hair plus an apron to cover your clothes.

The first few eggs I was making deeper cuts and ended up spraying egg whites for a rather amazing distance.  There is likely to be some spatter so work where you can control it as much as possible.  The kitchen counter with a few strategically placed plastic cutting boards and handy paper towel worked for me.  I still managed to get a fine spritz of egg white up the the very top of the cupboard door.  Keep your cuts as shallow as possible.

UPDATE: I wanted to do a few more eggs early one morning but didn’t want to turn on the Dremel.  I took a sharp knife and gave the egg a few decisive whacks (like if you had a soft-boiled egg that you wanted to open) and was able open the wide end that way.  It wasn’t as neat as the Dremel but it worked.

This part of the egg is going to be covered with the glued-on muffin paper, so it’s ok if is jagged or uneven.  Some of mine chipped and cracked and I was able to glue the cracks after dying the eggs and make them work.  I did lose a few eggs in the process so you might want to start with a few spares.

Lift off the disc of eggshell and look carefully for any fine grey grit around the opening.  With your fingers or a paper towel, clean off the grit.  Another option is to carefully tip the egg over the sink and let a little bit of egg white slip out, taking the grit with it.  Wipe the edge of the opening and tip the egg into a small dish.  If you don’t see any more bits of eggshell (which, by the way, isn’t toxic), go ahead and dump the egg into a larger bowl.  There were a few times when I cut through the shell and found the membrane still intact so I didn’t have to clean off any shell.

Now rinse the eggs and use your finger to clean the membrane out of the shells.

Sterilize egg shells by submerging in water and boiling  and simmering for 10 minutes.  Carefully pour out some of the hot water and add cold until you can gently lift egg out.  Be cautious because the small openings makes it easy for really hot water to get trapped in the egg and you could get burned taking the eggs out.  I used a slotted spoon and lifted each eggshell out before setting in on a rack over paper towel to completely drain and dry.

Next you will dye the eggs.  For my first batch I followed Megan’s recipes at Not Martha (below).  I experimented more on the second batch.  I started with the recipes on the Neon food coloring and added a drop or two of the Regular food coloring to tone down the results.  I lifted eggs out of their dye-baths after 10 minutes and if they weren’t as vivid as I wanted I would leave them in for another 5 minutes (also see timing notes with the color recipes).

Boil a kettle of water and line up 7 jars if you want to make all the colors listed here.  After the water comes to a boil, measure 1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons white vinegar into each jar.  Then add the food coloring as listed in the color recipes below.  I also suggest that you make all the dyes before you start putting eggs in the jars.  Don’ t be like me.

Red:

  • 10 drops neon pink
  • 1 drop neon purple
  • 2 drops red
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Orange

  • 20 drops yellow
  • 5 drops red
  • soak for 15 minutes

Yellow:

  • 15 drops yellow
  • 2 drops neon green
  • soak for 15 minutes

Green:

  • 20 drops neon green
  • 2 drops neon blue
  • 1 drop green
  • soak for 15 minutes

Blue:

  • 6 drops neon blue
  • 1 drop blue
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Purple:

  • 7 drops neon blue
  • 5 drops neon pink
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Magenta:

  • 10 drops neon pink
  • 2 drops neon purple
  • Soak for 10 minutes

Wearing rubber gloves and old clothes are both good ideas although I was careful with the eggs and kept paper towels handy for drips.  I also wore an apron and I was ok.  I did get dye on my fingers but it fades in a day or two.  Use a skewer or slotted spoon or teaspoon to remove the eggs from the dye and set them to dry overnight on a rack. Other options for drying are skewers or chopsticks stuck into a foam block or sticking out of a vase or jar set over paper towel.  You want to be sure the inside of the eggs are dry before filling with candy.

Check the dyed eggs for any cracks.  If you have small cracks near the opening, put a little glue on the crack and, for reinforcement, a bit of tissue paper.  Let dry.  Set eggs in an egg carton with the open end up and fill with candy.

I found little candies at Trader Joe’s including chocolate and candy covered sunflower seeds, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds and jelly beans.  I also picked up mini M&M’s, (for my second set of eggs I found M&M’s in pastel colors), some delicious foil-wrapped dark chocolate eggs by Dove and candy-coated chocolate Sixlets that I saw in great spring colors at Target.

I enjoyed making color combinations to go with the different colored eggs but of course that isn’t necessary.  Fun, but unnecessary.

Try not to sample too much of the candy while you are filling the eggs.  Just a suggestion.

Cut mini muffin papers to about half their height and glue one on each egg.  Let dry.

Print and cut out small tags with “Crack Me” printed on them.  Glue one tag in the side of each mini muffin cup.

Admire the beautiful eggs.

When you give the eggs away, you might suggest that they crack them with care.  I gave a friend one and made her crack it open so I could get a picture for this post.  She wanted to carefully peel the paper off the bottom but I insisted she break it for the blog.  Her enthusiasm when breaking the egg resulted in candy flying in all directions!  A few plastic bags on hand to stash the candy might be a good idea.

Please do let me know if you make these eggs. They aren’t just for kids and would make sweet favors for a spring bridal shower or birthday lunch as seen here on the Kitchn in a a beautiful undyed version.

UPDATE: I did a few brown, undyed eggs that I’m calling “Snack Crack Me Eggs”.  My dad, after chemo treatment, has lost his taste for anything sweet.  So eggs filled with baby Goldfish crackers, nuts and pretzel bits seemed like a good solution.

Coming soon: egg recipes!  Thanks for the visit.

9 Comments

Filed under Crafts

9 responses to ““Crack Me” Candy Filled Easter Eggs

  1. Those are awesome, and any craft where you can use a power tool is pretty damn cool!

    • Thanks!I’m delighted with them and scrambled to get the pictures taken and the post written. I completely agree on the power tool front. I kind of thought Rem might want to participate in that part of the project, but alas, he did not. More fun for me.

  2. cat

    These look fantastic. I’ve got a very new baby so they’re not in the landscape for me this year – but what a great project for next year. Thank you,

  3. Another beautiful and creative idea from Dianne. Thanks for passing on to us.

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