Posts Tagged 'eggs'

Culinary Canvas: Peanut Butter Eggs

Continuing our Easter egg theme this week, I wanted to create a recipe that recalls the yummy Easter candy everyone enjoys at this time of year. For my inspiration, I looked to our striking Brancusi sculpture, Beginning of the World, which uses imagery associated with birth. This imagery is fitting for Easter and spring, a season of rebirth and new life. And of course, it is shaped like an egg! I am a huge fan of cake balls and this recipe not only yields a delicious result, it provides the opportunity to decorate more eggs with your family. Enjoy!

Constantin Brancusi, The Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Constantin Brancusi, Beginning of the World, c. 1920, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Peanut Butter Eggs

Yields 50-100 cake balls, depending on size
Level: Intermediate

Cake Balls:

1 yellow cake
1 cup peanut butter frosting (recipe follows)
1 ¼ cups Reese’s Pieces candy
Coating (recipe follows)

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
½ cup natural creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons whole milk


12-16 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ tablespoon vegetable shortening

Prepare cake as directed, using a favorite recipe or box mix if desired. Allow cake to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting: Place the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until mostly combined. Add peanut butter and continue mixing, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Increase speed to high and add milk one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating an additional 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is light and smooth. Set aside.

Cake Balls: Break up cake into bowl of food processor and process into an even crumb. Transfer cake crumbs to medium mixing bowl.

Roughly chop Reese’s Pieces candy with food processor or by hand. Add approximately 1 cup of candy to mixing bowl, reserving remainder for use as decoration. Stir to distribute candy evenly through crumbs.

Beginning with ½ cup, add frosting to crumb mixture and stir with rubber spatula. Amount of frosting needed will vary depending on moisture of original cake. Final mixture should be evenly moist but not greasy and able to hold its shape.

To form cake balls, scoop off about a teaspoon of dough then roll between hands into egg shape. Place eggs onto wax paper lined dish and transfer to freezer. Allow to firm for at least 30 minutes.

Coating: Whisk chocolate in a glass bowl set over a small pot of simmering water until mostly melted. Remove from heat and stir in shortening, whisking until smooth.

Remove half of eggs from freezer. Insert toothpick into egg and dip into coating until fully covered, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. A small espresso spoon is useful for distributing chocolate evenly over egg. Quickly sprinkle with reserved candy while still wet. Place toothpick into foam board and allow chocolate to set.

Remove remaining eggs from freezer and repeat process until complete. Once dry, remove toothpicks and refrigerate in air tight container.




Original recipe utilizing cake ball tips from 52 Kitchen Adventures and Miss Candiquik.

Sarah Coffey
Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives

Artful Eggs

The Easter holiday is almost upon us, and I for one am so excited to decorate Easter eggs! I am proof of the fact that this festive activity is for children and adults alike. Moreover, if approached in the right manner, decorating Easter eggs can be downright artistic. Beautiful eggs don’t require expensive materials or a BFA–in fact, all it takes to create some slamming shell designs is inspiration, imagination, and a few items found around the house!

Step 1: Boiling the eggs. Boiled eggs stand up better to the treatment required to decorate eggs (dyeing, drawing, wrapping). Place eggs in a medium sized pot and add enough water to reach about an inch above the eggs. Bring water to a roaring boil, remove from heat, then cover eggs for 15 minutes. Drain water, and allow eggs to cool. (This step can be accelerated a bit by placing eggs in a bowl of water in the refrigerator).

Drying rack made with flathead pins and foamcore.

Drying rack made with flathead pins and foamcore.

Step 2: Preparing the materials. As I said, artful eggs require simple materials: newspaper, food coloring, spoons, tongs, glass cups or mugs, white vinegar, a small paintbrush, tempera paint, hot water, Styrofoam board, and flathead pins. Placing flathead pins in a grid pattern on foam board creates a great drying rack for dyed eggs.

To mix colors, place 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 2/3 cup hot water in your cup along with 3 drops of food coloring. Add more drops to darken the dye. This is a great (albeit stinky) way to review color mixing with kids–experiment and see what fun colors you can come up with!

Step 3: Finding inspiration. Inspiration can come from a variety of sources, but for this year’s batch I’d recommend using the DMA’s permanent collection as a muse. The Museum’s encyclopedic collection provides a wealth of ideas, and, who knows, you might gain some artistic insight during the art-making process! When choosing works of art I looked for bright colors, simple shapes and bold lines, as these would lend themselves well to my oblong canvases. Here are the four works I decided upon:

Step 4: Decorate! Before diving into your artistry, wipe each egg down with some vinegar (this will prepare the shell for the dyeing process).  It was interesting to use works of art that employed different decorative techniques.

  • The Matisse egg was first dipped into an orange dye for two minutes (increasing the amount of time in the dye will lead to a darker color).  After the egg dried, a small brush with tempera paint was used to add blue and green leaves and red berries.


  • To create the neutral background of the Pollock, the egg was dipped into orange and then blue dye (about 10 seconds each). I was then able to perform my own version of action painting!  With my paintbrush I flicked, splattered and flung watered-down black, white and grey tempera paint onto the egg. (Action painting can get messy, so newspaper comes in handy!)
  • Rothko’s contemplative color duo was completed by dipping the bottom of the egg in the orange dye (for about 30 seconds) and the top in red (30 more seconds). The egg should be left to dry between each dip. The middle portion of the egg was not taped, since I think the frayed edge caused by the dye enhanced the Rothko-style.
  • Completing the Mondrian egg took a little tempera paint and patience! Who knew that painting a grid pattern onto a rounded surface isn’t the easiest thing to do. With the straightest lines I could muster, I painted Mondrian’s primary color scheme onto the clean, un-dyed surface of the egg. It took a few layers of paint (left to dry in-between) to achieve more opaque colors.

Step 5: Display and Enjoy! 

Artful eggs. L-R: Henri Matisse, Ivy Flower; Jackson Pollock, Cathedral; Mark Rothko, Untitled; Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray

Artful eggs. L-R: Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian

These artful eggs are too good to keep to yourself!  Share your masterpieces with us through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or even post them here on DMA Canvas–we’d love to see your DMA inspired works of egg-art! Now that you’ve completed your artwork the real question emerges: which will taste better, a Matisse or Pollock deviled egg?

Artworks Shown:

  • Henri Matisse, Ivy in Flower, 1953, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation
  • Jackson Pollock, Cathedral, 1947, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis
  • Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1952,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated
  • Piet Mondrian, Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray, 1921, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mrs. James H. Clark

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Special thanks to Alex Vargo for her eggcellent work.


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