When I was a kid, I’d painstakingly dye hard boiled Easter eggs that my parents “left out for the bunny to hide” in the morning. I’m not sure why we’re all not dead of salmonellae poisonings, because I’m pretty sure that mom deviled those eggs later for Easter dinner…or they ended up in my Buck Rogers lunch box the next week. Food safety wasn’t real high on our list back in the day.
These days, we just dye hard cooked eggs for kicks. Heaven forbid we actually USE the eggs in an Easter Egg hunt…I’m pretty sure the boys would chuck them at my head if I swapped their treasure filled plastic eggs with plain old eggs. Our hard work is photographed for the scrapbook then safely tucked in the fridge. They don’t even get a lot of display time. Those food safety experts say you shouldn’t have eggs out at room temp for more than 2 hours!
So this year we’re trying something different! We’ve decorated paper eggs to display and we’re making colorful rainbow deviled eggs for the table!
Rainbow Deviled Eggs
I’ve seen several ways to make these eggs, and I’ve tried a few of them out. The first method I don’t recommend: a newspaper food columnist cooked her eggs, then dunked them in food coloring and water for two hours. Blah! It works, but seriously…
The faster method is to dye the cooked and peeled eggs with the same mixture we use for old-fashioned hard cooked Easter eggs: vinegar, hot water and food coloring. You’ll need 2 tsp of vinegar per cup of water, and 10 to 20 drops of dye. The eggs don’t sit in the vinegar solution long enough to taste sharp, so don’t sweat it. (Want a really great way to cook eggs that peel easy? Check out my secret here.)
You have a choice to make first! Do you want your eggs to be colorful on the outside and still white on the inside…or totally colored? Both methods work great, so it’s just a matter of style! If you want just the outsides colored, then dunk the whole peeled egg into the dye. If you want the whole eggs to be colorful, the peel and SLICE the eggs. Remove the yolk and set aside, then rinse the eggs. Now dye them! It takes about the same time to dye an shell free egg as one with a shell on. Just be sure to stir the eggs in the dye gently, so you don’t get any spots where the dye doesn’t stick–without the shell the egg can stick to the sides of your jar or cup pretty easily.
Either way, you should let the colored eggs rest on a cookie rack for a few minutes until dry. I found out the hard way that the dye can transfer to another eggs if you just crowd them on a plate right away!
Rainbow Deviled Eggs Recipe
Once you have all your eggs colored, prep the yolk as you normally would for deviled eggs. I usually go with the classic Betty Crocker recipe. Smash the yolks with a fork, then spoon in 3 tablespoons of mayo and 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard per SIX hard cooked eggs. Add a little salt and pepper if you like. My mom always adds pickle relish, so this time around I switched my mayo with a bottle of tartar sauce! It gives you that pickle relish twang without making the egg yolk too wet.