Making the Sugar Egg Shells:
1. Prepare molds -- dust with cornstarch.
2. Sugar egg recipe: 4-1/2 C super fine sugar 2 tsp. meringue powder 3 Tbl. water Place sugar and meringue in a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Add water and mix with electric mixer or spoon. If you are coloring your eggs, add color to water. For light pastel eggs -- which work best for light diffusion -- use only 1 or two drops of liquid food coloring. Mix until well combined, knead with hands if necessary. Keep an eye out for meringue powder or color lumps, which sometimes form. Knead into mixture between fingers, if necessary. 3. Press sugar into molds (you can find them at craft stores, cake decor shops, even Marshalls), creating a thin shell -- about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, depending on the size of the mold (larger mold, thicker sides). 4. Using a spoon cut out a 'window' in the narrow end of the sugar eggshell. 5. Gently turn eggs out onto a cardboard square that is at least 1” larger than your egg mold, and place onto a cookie sheet. Remove plastic molds. 6. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. 7. Allow shells to cool. If the insides are not hard, return to oven with inside exposed for another 15 minutes. 8. After shells are set and completely cool, decorate.
Decorating the Panoramic Window:
1. Mix and color royal icing. Pipe into shapes (bunnies, chicks, carrots, etc.) onto parchment paper. 2. Recipe for Royal Icing: 4 C powdered sugar 3 Tbl. meringue powder 1/2 tsp. clear colored extract -- almond, lemon, etc. 1/2 to 3/4 C warm water In the bowl of the electric mixer, mix sugar and meringue powder until well combined. Add extract and water, beginning with 1/2 C. Beat on medium until thick and glossy, and stiff peaks form. Consistency can be adjusted by adding more water or sugar, depending on use. Color as needed. 3. Collect tiny candies, ornaments or animals to decorate inside of eggs. 4. Color coconut with green food-coloring to make 'grass.' 5. Pipe royal icing in the inside bottom of shell, and use to hold decorations in place. 6. Sprinkle the royal icing with the coconut grass, decorate as desired. 7. Use a small amount of royal icing to 'glue' top and bottom halves together. 8. With cake-decorating tips, cover the seam of the egg and opening with decorative designs. Visit www.tamaracentral.com for more from Tamara!