Easter morning was always so much fun when I was young. We didn't have candy in our house unless it was a holiday, so awakening on Easter Sunday knowing that my pretty wicker basket filled with candy was hiding somewhere in the house got me to jump out of bed. The four of us kids would scramble to find our own baskets. If the Easter bunny hadn't hid one of our siblings baskets too well, it might get hidden again in a more out of the way location, like a closet or the oven. I remember the day my mom turned on the dryer to fluff up the clothes and heard a big thump. Yep, one of the baskets ended up in the dryer but luckily no bunny was harmed. After our hunt, when we had all found our treasure, we'd enjoy a few jelly beans, a bit of a chocolate bunny ear, or marshmallow Peep before having to gobble down some breakfast and head out the door to church.
When I was dreaming up recipes for Easter, I imagined what I would have wanted to eat for Easter breakfast as a kid and Pop Tarts came to mind. My mom did not stock the pantry with Pop Tarts as a general rule, and I had only had them a few times as a kid, but have eaten my fair share of them as an adult and have to admit I really like them. I've been seeing so many recipes for homemade versions of these breakfast pastries and I thought it would be fun to give them and Easter twist. This recipe is very simple and I wanted to keep the ingredients simple, so you can devote your time to the decorating process. So, I used Pillsbury Pie Crusts to create my egg shaped pastries and filled them with a variety of store bought fillings: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread, jam, and caramelized banana pie filling. There are so many fillings to choose from, that I'm sure you will find something to your liking.
I used the scraps of pie dough to cut out small decorations that I sprinkled with a rainbow of colorful sanding sugars then attached to the eggs before popping them in the oven. I recommend decorating your eggs on a rimmed baking sheet as this will help to contain any spilled sanding sugar - I spilled some just opening the container! Dont' worry about the mess, just have fun. Get the kids involved too, they will love creating their own designs. Your imagination can go wild here as you design your own array of colorful Easter egg pastries. I've demonstrated four different designs, but am sure you could come up with dozens of different eggs. These pastries aren't only great for breakfast, they would also make a festive dessert for your Easter dinner.
1 Pillsbury Pie Crust, thawed according to package instructions
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
4 tablespoons of filling (ex: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut spread, jam, banana pie filling)
Special Equipment Needed:
4" x 3" egg shaped cookie cutter
small pastry brush or food only paint brush
small cookie cutters, pizza cutters, ravioli cutters, knife
non-stick foil lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet
Unroll pie dough onto a work surface (I used a pie mat.) The dough will measure 11". Use a rolling pin to roll the circle out to about 12". This will thin out the dough enough that when you sandwich two layers of dough together and add decorative pieces of dough, your pastry will not be too thick. Cut out 8 eggs using a 4" x 3" egg shaped cookie cutter. Reserve dough scraps to make your decorations.
I would recommend that you place four of the pie dough eggs onto a non-stick foil lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet (I put them on a cutting board then had to move them once decorated.) Spoon about a tablespoon of your preferred filling in the center of each egg. Spread the filling out leaving a 1/2"-3/4" boarder. I used lemon curd (so good), Nutella (yum), raspberry jam (tasted good, but a lot oozed out during the baking process), and caramelized banana fruit-tart filling (my absolute favorite) to fill my eggs. Use what you and your kids will like. Of course, if you are like most families, everyone will have their own favorite filling, so a variety is nice.
Use mini flower and round cookie cutters, mini Easter cookie cutters, a pastry wheel/pizza cutter, alphabet cookie cutters or a knife to cut out shapes from the dough scraps. I cut out some flowers, some polka dots, and even my name. If you want to put names on your eggs, usingsmall alphabet cookie cutters, they need to be short enough to fit. Four to five letters will fit across the width of an egg and six to seven will fit lengthwise. There are so many mini sized cookie cutters on the market right now, that you will have so many choices in decorating your eggs. I also made some striped eggs. To get just the right size stripes for my eggs, I cut out an egg using the 4" x 3" egg shaped cookie cutter, then use the crimped edge of the pastry wheel to cut out my stripes.
Brush some egg wash on the top side of a pie dough decoration. Sprinkle colored sanding sugar over dough, completely covering the piece. Set aside to dry.
Sprinkle sanding sugar over all of your decorations. Lay them out next to their respective eggs.
Brush egg wash over the top surface of an egg. Attach the decorations by laying them over the egg and gently pressing down the edges.
Place your little eggs in the freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake Easter egg pastries for 5-7 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees half way through the baking cycle (to ensure even browning.) Bake until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold. You can even bake them ahead of time and heat them up in the toaster before serving.