The true origin of these beautifully crafted treats, are unknown, but they have been around since the 1800's,
and produced in many countries. (They were wildly popular during the "Victorian Era"!) Although there are still few companies or confectioneries that produce these today for the holiday, they have very much lost popularity over the years, and are fading in demand, and as a tradition.
Panoramic sugar eggs are simply molded sugar in the shape of eggs, that contain a "peep hole" at the base, side, or front of the egg, in which a scene is depicted, (a mini diorama!) The scale of difficulty is moderate, and largely dependent on how you wish to decorate! Although edible, (unless you choose to use non-edible decorations), I personally would rather appreciate and enjoy viewing them as an art form. (Eating solid sugar is not my thing!) They keep for MANY years if stored properly.
Yields 4- 4.5x 3 eggs
4c Extra fine sugar
1 egg white
1/2 t.+ of your choice GEL or liquid food coloring, (or leave white!)
vegetable spray or oil
Royal Icing mix or can make own, ( 1 egg white mixed with about 1-2c powdered sugar)
pastry bags or parchment triangles & various tips
shredded coconut (for "grass"- simply combine with some green food coloring in a Ziploc bag.)
edible decorations (gum paste, fondant, fruit roll ups, candy, large sprinkles/ pearls, marshmallows, purchased decorations, etc.)
1) On a sheet tray, lay out your molds, and spray with vegetable spray, or oil.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg white and food coloring. VERY IMPORTANT: make sure the color is mixed evenly, and that there are no lumps of food coloring!
3) Add the sugar and combine. Consistency will be very much like "Moon Sand"!
With a spoon, pack the sugar into your molds leaving a well- as pictured above. (You want the middle to be "hollow" for creating your scene! Once the sugar dries, it is very hard to carve!)
4) Set aside, and allow to dry out or harden for about 2-3 days before attempting to remove from molds!
5) Remove carefully from molds. If difficulty removing, you may have to "tap" out. (Carve opening at this time if necessary on 1 half of the egg.)
6) Make royal icing. Begin creating the "diorama" or scene for the inside of the egg.
7) Once your scene is finished and dried, take some royal icing and pipe around outer half of egg. (To act as the "glue" that will fuse both halves together.) Set the egg flat, and allow to dry for a couple hours.
8) Prepare the colors of royal icing you wish to use to finish the exterior of the egg. Decorate, and allow to dry for about 1-2 hours. Give as gifts or enjoy as decorations for years to come!