Ask Erin: The secret to easy-to-peel eggs; uses for leftover candy

Mosaics can be created with jelly beans. - COURTESY PHOTO of Jelly Belly
Mosaics can be created with jelly beans.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO of Jelly Belly

A friend stopped me the other day and asked a question about hard-boiled eggs. He and his family made a batch for Easter, and when it came time to peel them, it was a difficult task.

What causes some hardboiled eggs to be easier to peel than others, he asked?

I, too, recently had a run-in with some hard-to-peel eggs and was at my wit’s end with the splintered shells.

After some research on the Internet and flipping through old cookbooks, the answer surprised me. The cause? The eggs were too fresh. The membrane between the shell and the egg white needs to firm. Peel-easy eggs need to be at least five days old.

Easter Candy Leftovers:

Wondering what to do with your stash of leftover candy?

Or perhaps you couldn’t resist the deeply discounted holiday candy at the grocery store.

Be creative:

-Make “Peep” s’mores, just like traditional s’mores but with a splash of color and extra sugar. Due to the Peeps’ sugary coating, they don’t melt exactly the same way as plain marshmallows, so be cautious.

-Use a fine cheese grater to grate chocolate eggs and bunnies. Use the shavings with your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. Add the shaved chocolate to your favorite cookie recipe, along with the chocolate chips. The finely grated chocolate will make your cookies extra gooey.

-Jelly beans make creative art. Kids enjoy “water coloring” with the candy. Simply provide a bowl of water and paper. Dip the candy into the water, as you would a paint brush, and see what they can create.

Jelly beans are also used to make beautiful mosaic masterpieces. Using thousands of jelly beans, artist Peter Rocha has created celebrity portraits, like the one above.

-Chocolate and peanut butter eggs still on hand? Pop them into the freezer and save them for  a hot summer treat. Since these eggs don’t require cooking, you won’t heat up your kitchen.  For a “breakfast” sandwich, eat the frozen egg on a graham cracker. Delicious!

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