During Easter time, hard-cooked eggs act as a creative canvas for children and adults to decorate. Using natural food dyes to color eggs became popular during medieval times. English kings distributed hundreds of decorated, gold-leaf eggs during Easter. Russian Czar Alexander III transformed this holiday custom to high-art when he commissioned the famous Faberge eggs as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria Alexandrovna, from goldsmith Peter Carl FabergÃ©.
For the perfect, hard-cooked eggs for your Easter holiday, decorated with homemade dye, follow the directions below. Happy Easter!
Preparing Eggs for Decoration
Tip: Keep the egg carton to store your Easter eggs in!
1) Bring eggs to room temperature.
2) Place the eggs in room temperature water in a large pot.
3) Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low boil for 12 minutes.
4) Quickly chill the eggs in ice-cold water.
5) The eggs must be completely cool and dry to decorate successfully.
6) Hard-cooked eggs should be kept refrigerated and used within one week.
7) The greenish color around the yolk of hard-cooked eggs is a natural result of sulfur and iron reacting at the surface of the yolk. It may occur when eggs are cooked too long or at too high of temperature, or when there is a high amount of iron in the cooking water. Although the color may be unappealing, the eggs are still wholesome and nutritious and their flavor is unaffected. Greenish yolks can best be avoided by using the proper cooking time and temperature (avoid intense boiling) and by rapidly cooling the cooked eggs. Occasionally scrambled eggs can develop a greenish tint if over-cooked at too high of a temperature or if they are left too long in a metal pan.
Egg-cellent decorating tips
1) Use crayons to gently color a design on the hard-cooked Easter eggs. If you want to dye the crayon-decorated eggs, the crayon wax will resist the dye and the design will show through.
2) Use craft supplies: buttons, sequins, glitter, beads, pieces of felt, or stickers. Use white or craft glue to attach the materials.
3) To make your own dye: Combine 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of food coloring with 2 teaspoons of white, distilled vinegar in a large cup or deep bowl. You can experiment by mixing the food coloring to create a variety of hues. Add water until the cup or bowl is half full.
4) Gently place the eggs into the dyeing liquid in the cup or bowl, using a soup spoon to avoid cracking the shell. The longer the eggs are left in the dye, the darker the color will become.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and Momonomics.com on a weekly basis.