Dyeing eggs with whipped cream: family fun for all

By Chad Hobbs

 I always enjoyed dyeing Easter eggs when I was a child. The bright, bold colored eggs meant not only had spring arrived, but more importantly, the bunny would be delivering my basket soon. As a parent, some of that joy was lost during the tedious set up of cups full of vinegar and tablets dissolving all why my young son lost his patience waiting for it all to be ready. Then, there was the potential mess of cups of vinegar and bright colored dye being tipped over during the dunking process or while waiting for the eggs to set in the liquid long enough to achieve their desired color.  About three years ago, I stumbled upon the whipped cream version of dyeing them, and we’ve never looked back since. The result are swirled, tie dyed looking eggs that are unique from each other along with any of the traditionally dyed eggs which we are all used to. Though it can still be messy, it’s a fun process for both children and parents alike.  After the eggs are boiled and cooled, soak them in vinegar for five to ten minutes. Though this step isn’t essential, the dye sticks to the eggs better, and they turn out with much bolder colors, as well.  Next you will want to put whipped cream in multiple small containers just deep enough to allow for drops of food coloring to be added and for the egg to be rolled through once. Overfilling the container is a waste since it makes it both hard to roll the egg, and the dyeing process will happen only at the surface of the whipped cream. It is better to have multiple, shallowly filled containers for two reasons. One it allows for different color combinations to be experimented with, and due to the fact that once the colors have been mixed too much or too many times, your colors will often begin resembling shades of green and brown that are better suited for a baby’s diaper than Easter eggs. I have seen people use muffin tins, but we have always just used small plastic containers.  Next, drop dots of food coloring on the whipped cream and take a knife, slightly swirling the color combinations decided upon. We have always used liquid food coloring because it’s what was handy, but gel food coloring will give much bolder coloring than the traditional liquid kind which has more of pastel look usually. Once the egg has been rolled completely around once, set it out and move on to the next.  Let them set for at least ten minutes before wiping the whipped cream off or rinsing it with cold water. I will say, I never have found that to be long enough to get the deep color that was hoped for. Overnighting in the fridge seems to give the best color but also leaves the whipped cream quite gummy to wipe off. A half hour to hour is probably more than enough (the longer, the brighter the coloring). Just be careful when wiping the eggs down because too much pressure will take some of the coloring away with the cream.  My son will be the first to tell you this is now something he not only looks forward to but thoroughly enjoys as well. Instead of a bunch of “Be careful’s”, “Hold on’s”, and all the other spirit killing barking that parents seem to do when there is a table top mine field of cups waiting to spill their vibrantly colored vinegar contents at the slightest wrong move, laughter and joy fills the room now. In my mind at least, that is what family time on holidays like Easter is supposed to be about. Here’s to wishing everyone the happiest of Easter’s this year.

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