Dinosaur Eggs

CATEGORIES: Cooking with Kids, Easter, Sara

A few months ago I was totally wasting time avoiding piles of laundry and dishes browsing Tastespotting for official food blog research purposes when my then 4 year old son walked into my office.  He took one look at the computer screen and exclaimed, “Mom!  Is that a dinosaur egg??!”  What he had spied was actually a Chinese Tea Egg.  When brined in a mix of tea, and spices the crackly designs look (to me) like something you’d see on a Halloween themed table, but I took a mental note to make these with fun colors when Easter came around and we could pretend they were Dinosaur eggs.  My boys thought they were SO cool.

First thing you need is a bunch of hard boiled eggs.  Click here for a how-to on boiling the perfect egg!

After the eggs are cooked, cooled, and dry, gently tap them on the counter top.  You want to create little cracks all over the egg.  It’s okay if a few small pieces of shell fall off, but try to avoid breaking large chunks off.

You should just have small tiny cracks all over.  In fact after you make a few taps on the counter, you can even gently squeeze the egg in your hand to crack the shell.

Use liquid food coloring to tint your water, and plop your eggs in.

For some reason, my Ikea kids cups are always my egg-dying cups.  We wanted a few different colors so we put a single egg in each cup.  This part isn’t rocket science.  No specific measurements, just, ya know…do it.  I let my kids squeeze in the food coloring so I’m guessing there are about 847 drops in each cup.  If you want to be exact.

Let them sit in the fridge for several hours, or overnight.  I’ve actually only let them sit overnight, so I can’t tell you how many hours will do it if you don’t leave them in all night.  Somehow that makes it more fun too.  My kids get all excited to wake up in the morning and crack their eggs open.

Remove the eggs from the water, rinse them off (so you don’t color your hands, um, not that I’ve done that…) and gently remove the shells, revealing the dino designs inside!

Isn’t it strange how that one egg shell didn’t absorb any color but the inside is colored??  Weirdness.  Also I have no idea how those other ones have lines around them.

That red one freaked my husband out.  He said it looked “veiny”.  Can’t say I disagree.

He then promptly mocked my egg-to-dinosaur size ratio in the lovely diorama I set up on our back porch.  Whatever. Maybe they’re all just hanging around wondering where the ginormous dinosaur is that produced an egg bigger than all of them.  Use your imagination people!

Pretty sure this purple one is my favorite.  I have shoes that color.  Love.

They’re sort of weird and awesome all at the same time.  Like me.

Emphasis on the awesome.

Now you’re probably wondering what to do with a bunch of neon eggs.

Why, have a dinosaur egg salad sandwich of course!

Here’s my favorite recipe for Egg Salad.  I had to close my eyes before taking a bite because the technicolor factor tripped me out, but my kids sure thought it was rad.  And that of course was the whole point, so plus one for Team Mom.  Woot woot!  So try this one with the kiddos – they’ll be excited when you’re in the middle of egg dying and you tell them to crack the eggs.  Or better yet, crack some and don’t tell them- wouldn’t that be a fun surprise?!

88 comments

  1. SO cool! My Boys will adore these. My two year old calls them dinosnaurs. What’s even cooler is that I can still do this with our farm fresh eggs!

    1. Ha! You need to clarify dear. It doesn’t LOOK like purple ketchup, it looks unnatural and therefore makes you uncomfortable the same way purple ketchup does, haha

  2. After being dropped on the table and floor countless times, our Easter eggs look like that every year. LOL Fun stuff though! 🙂
    For some odd reason the red ones make me think of Spiderman. Weird I know.

  3. That is an awesome idea! I teach Kindergarten and I have to admitt…I want to do it with them. Mostly for selfish reasons…because I love dying eggs!
    Are the cups from IKEA? I seriously am going to have to go home and make some tonight. I have neon food coloring! I think the best part is that you are not wasting eggs!
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. 🙂 – that last pic is the best! Love the purple egg – wow. I’ve never thought to leave the eggs in the food coloring that long. Will definitely try it this year.

  5. Can’t wait to try these with my Primary Activity Day Girls.
    I also have some Jell-o molds that are egg shaped and have some fun recipes to go with them. I think this year I’ll try putting a clean plastic dino in the middle of them (thanks to your 4 yr old’s creativity).

  6. These look so cool!
    You mentioned water and food coloring. I am guessing you don’t do the whole vinegar, water, coloring method? Just water with food coloring? I am also trying to figure out how we can do these for hiding? Any suggestions?

    1. Nope, no vinegar. Vinegar helps the color adhere to the shells and that’s not what we’re going for here. Plus I didn’t want the eggs to taste like it.

      I’m not sure there’s a way to hide these!

  7. When you leave them out overnight do you keep them refrigerated? I am assuming so but just wanted to check?

  8. I love these pictures, Sara! I think it is just beyond awesome that you spent the time setting up a dinos in the background, haha. How fun! 🙂

  9. These are so awesome. I don’t know whether to use them for Easter or my daughter’s dinosaur party in May. (Maybe both — why not?)

  10. It’s been a tradition in my house since I was little to make Creamed Eggs on Toast for Easter with all of our hard boiled eggs we had dyed and hid. You can find the recipe on my blog if you have never heard of it. But don’t laugh it’s nothing compared to your blog;) Just a fun place to drop my recipes!! We love how the colors from the eggs make a rainbow of color in our sauce. My own kids love it so much we have it pretty much 3-4x’s a month:)
    Love this idea though…my son would LOVE to make them look like dino eggs!!!!!

  11. Oh my… We just had a dino themed birthday for my son last Saturday… He will die to have these on Easter! 🙂 Might have to do them early too… (already have some hard boiled eggs in the fridge!) What an awesome Idea! Thanks for sharing with us!

  12. This is the solution to dyeing brown eggs. Great idea for me with all my fresh brown eggs. Oh! A reminder – you really don’t want to use the fresh eggs. A pain to peel and I bet the membrane won’t let the dye work as well. I’ve got some eggs “aging” as we speak!

  13. I’ve never peeled eggs and then put them back in the fridge…is there a shorter shelf life??
    My son would think these were “AMAZING!”
    I absolutely love reading your blog…never fails to make me smile and give me inspiration!! Thanks for all the work the two of you put into it!

  14. Sara, LOL!!! I’m new to your blog, but it’s so much better than a recipe blog because of stuff you guys write like: “totally wasting time avoiding piles of laundry and dishes.” That is precisely how I found your blog! Congrats on the book, thanks for the recipes (we love the Brazilian ones especially), and thanks for making me smile!

  15. Thank you so much for the perfect boiled egg link, i have been meaning to look up how to boil them properly, we have had our very own hens the past month and they don’t seem to boil properly (they turn out more poached than boiled, its kinda weird, but happy to have fresh eggs i try not to mind) so hopefully with your recipe i will have success!

  16. What a fun idea!

    And I can tell you about the white rings around your eggs. The equipment that the eggs roll on to get to the candling station and the carton will polish the surface of the shell just a little. Enough to keep the dye from sticking evenly on the egg.

    I can’t wait to do this with the grandkids!! Thank you!!

    1. I was interested to hear about the reason for the white bands on the blue egg. I decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs, and the person who taught me how to do it said she always called them cackle bands (“The hen pushes the egg out a little, then stops and cackles, then continues.”) I think your comment is true but hers made a fun mental picture.

  17. Those are so cool. What a fun idea. I also love the pic of the boys in their dino costumes. So cute!

  18. I saw a great idea last year too. Use the cheap wisks from the dollar store. The cheaper kind allows you to move the metal strands of the wisk aside so you can put a hard boiled egg in. Use these to dip the eggs rather than spoons, etc. Makes much less mess and is a lot easier for my kids to color the eggs!

  19. My son was excited to see these. He thinks they look like dragon skin. @Elaine-They do sometimes get cackle bands. Most often, the eggs push out smoothly, but sometimes my hens give me eggs with bands that allow you to see the uneven rate at which the egg was created.

  20. I’ve done this with eggs before and put them in potato salad. I think pastel colors in potato salad are pretty, but my husband thinks they are gross. Oh, well, more for me 😉

  21. I saw this and 5 minutes later I had eggs boiling on the stove. These are completely awesome! Not sure the kids are going to be patient enough to wait for them to cool down! I’ve already been told to put them in the freezer lol.

  22. Okay, So I know it’s a little soon. But I made these yesterday afternoon. Just took them out of the fridge and they came out Auhhh-mazzing! I seriously can’t believe how awesome they came out! I did a blog post and told everyone on my facebook to make these awesome Dino Eggs! Ohh and I also made a bacon egg salad sandwich, best things EVER!!

    Thanks OBB you ladies rock!

  23. I made these yesterday and they were so cute. The part I was looking forward to most was making the colorful egg salad. My girls loved it.

  24. We tried out the dino eggs. I’m afraid we weren’t very successful. I guess we needed more cracks. We are going to give them another try and really go to town on the eggs this time.

  25. I remember seeing this done as a kid – except they used koolaid for flavored eggs! It seemed so cool then. Now? Ick. :o)

  26. Great idea. I teach Mom/Tot classes called Goof & Giggle and one of my Mom’s told me about these dino eggs because our theme this month is “Dizzy Dinosaurs”. Great job girls!

  27. I tried these and failed miserably! The inside of the eggshell looked cool, but the “membrane” didn’t crack with the shell, so the egg didn’t dye 🙁
    And then to add insult to injury, my hubby said I was too old for such shenanigans. phltt.

    But it was fun anyway. Hadn’t dyed eggs for years!

  28. This is similar (in final appearance, at least) to a dish in Chinese cuisine called Tea Eggs — basically, you par-boil some eggs, crack the shells as you do here, cool, then bring a pot of water with a few tablespoons of loose black tea (or tea bags if that’s all you have), half a cup of soy sauce, and your choice of spices (whole spices work best, there’s a lot of leeway but something like star anise, cinnamon stick, and some allspice would be a good starting point), then gently simmer the eggs in it for half an hour (you’d think this overlong cooking would make them tough or rubbery, but something about the broth infiltrating through the cracked shell or maybe just the long slow cooking leaves them if anything a little tenderer), after which you let them cool in the pan, then soak overnight in the fridge. They get that same marbling in a faint brown, and are delicious.

  29. Thanks Sara, it was great idea, I read it today and made them today. My three year old took them to nursery today, he was very happy. I made little change to it, after slightly cracking the egg, boiled the egg again in coloured water in a small pan (individually). Take it out rinse under the clod water and peel it as you desire (fully or half) for same perfect and quick results. TIP: – you can use same egg-dying cups, add some dye and hot water and boil the egg in Micro wave oven for one minute leave it stand for few minutes rinse and peel, make sure cups are Microwave able.

  30. Our favorite thing to do with Easter Eggs (after the hunt on Easter morning) is to make creamed eggs! Favorite Easter tradition, especially if we crack the eggs a bit to let the dye in (like Dino Eggs). Just make a thin to medium white sauce and then put the cut up hard boiled eggs in it. Serve over toast. So festive and so YUMMY!

  31. We have a Spiderman egg kit. A few of these in the mix will look like “Spidey” has been there. Thanks!

  32. Love these. I have my eggs boiling now. The boys and I are making these tonight for fun colored deviled eggs to take for Easter dinner tomorrow night. 🙂

  33. My little two year old LOVES dinosaurs and he found this post while we were looking at what cookies we were just going to bake. He has been scrolling through admiring the dinosaurs and eggs for a while now. Guess we will have to make “dinosaur eggs” after our cookies are done, haha!

  34. I feel so silly- we made these last night and I misread the directions. I thought you were supposed to dye as usual, remove from the dye, and then refrigerate overnight before peeling… lol. So of course they were really light and pale and I wondered why. Then I got on here again to read the directions after it was all said and done and realized you are supposed to leave the eggs IN the dye overnight…. lol! Next year. It was still fun and the kids loved it.

  35. Do this every year, my kids call the spring angel eggs! This is how we make our angel eggs for Easter, you can also add food coloring to the yolks and mayo to mix and match the colors to the outside! Also make them for Halloween using orange black and green gel dye and Christmas red and green! Yea we are festive I guess.. Lol

  36. Not sure that this hasn’t been answered or if OP reads comments still, but the rings she mentioned on the egg happen while the egg is boiling and circulating/ moving around in the pot. Actually adds some character!

  37. You are very funny. I think of myself as funny and I would like to think I would write an article similarly as funny as this but probably not. PARTICULARLY liked the crossed out line about avoiding housework. Will probably never read another post by you as don’t have time to follow such things and was just googling for kids party ideas, will make these tonight for a dinosaur party we’re attending tomorrow morning. So THANKS FROM NZ – for the laughs out loud.

  38. My mom is diabetic and I’m going to do this for her Easter basket this weekend! (And she loves egg salad too!)

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