Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Confetti eggs for Easter

We introduced cascarones, or confetti eggs, at our family Easter festivities two years ago and they immediately gave the treat-filled baskets and morning egg hunt stiff competition for the best part of the day. They're simple to make and an absolute blast to enjoy, but they require a little advance preparation.

I happened across a mention of cascarones somewhere online, and thought: "Yeah, my kids would love cracking confetti-filled eggs on each other's heads!" Boom: instant family tradition.

To make one, you carefully open an egg at one end, empty out the contents, wash and dry it, decorate, then fill with confetti and seal with tissue paper. You can gather cascarones in a special basket or include them in an egg hunt for a special treat.

Last year, we didn't even decorate them. I ran out of time and energy, but the kids didn't mind a bit. Just be sure to make more than you think you'd ever need!

Here's how to do it:

Using a spoon or butter knife, gently tap a hole in the bottom of the egg. Chip away a small opening, as carefully as you can, and dump the egg white and yolk into a bowl. You might need to pierce the yolk with a skewer or knife tip.

I don't always see this step mentioned, but it's important: Remove the membrane lining the inside of the egg shell. That’s the translucent white film that sometimes clings to bits of shell. If you don’t get most of it out, your eggs will resist cracking — you’ll end up with sore heads. (I know this from painful experience.) Stick a finger inside the egg and carefully scrape away at the membrane. You don’t need to get it all out — just most of it.

Next, rinse your egg well with warm, soapy water and let it dry. I stick a chopstick in each egg and plant it in a glass for a day or two — ready to go!

You can decorate these just like other Easter eggs: dye them, paint with watercolors, put some stickers on them, color with markers. They are fragile, so be careful. Again, it’s a good idea to prepare a few extra so the kids don’t get too worked up over the occasional — and inevitable — crushed egg.

To finish them, gather up tissue paper, glue, and confetti. I use cheap tissue-paper confetti from a dollar store. It gets everywhere, and I wanted something more biodegradable than glitter.

Cut the tissue paper into squares big enough to cover the openings in your eggs. Fill each egg with confetti (a funnel helps), then glue a tissue paper square over the opening. Let dry, and you’re done!

A few more suggestions:

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