I’m not sure exactly what it is about miniatures, but looking at them is like getting a peek into a magical world. (Rather like reading a book!) When I was little, we had some peek-a-boo eggs my mother had made out of sugar. Things made out of sugar, sugar art, are instantly magical, just from the sparkle. You could look in a hole at one end and peer in at a little chicky or bunny sticker. Those eggs were tinted purple and pink, but it occurred to me that in it’s original sugary whiteness, they would look exactly like snow. Why not make a peek-a-boo sugar snowball?
Winter Craft how to: Peekaboo Sugar Snowballs, like sugar eggs
The empty plastic crafting ornaments that they sell make perfect molds for the sugar. Kids can help you pack in the sugar.
You mold two halves, let them dry, and scoop out the insides. For more exact directions on molding the sugar, see the websites listed below. On one half you go all the way through to make a window to see through.
I made the tiny snowmen for the scenes out of ready-made fondant. Kids can help you roll the snowballs, just like working with clay. I put the faces on with gel food coloring and a toothpick. To color something like a scarf, you can buy colored fondant (in big quantities) or color your own with gel food coloring. You have to pull and stretch the fondant, fold and mash, to work the coloring in. If you don’t mind dye on little hands, that’s another fun job for kids. Leave the fondant figures out overnight to dry along with the sugar eggs. When you assemble the eggs, stick the fondant figurines in with royal icing.
You assemble the snowball and decorate it with royal icing. Royal icing will dry candy hard and last quite a while. Don’t let royal icing scare you. You just have to keep it from drying candy hard before you finish decorating. Make sure you keep extra icing covered with plastic wrap. Anytime you put down your decorating tube, wrap the tip in a damp paper towel. Although everything they’re made from is edible, these are made more for looking than eating. I do remember my little sister ate her egg, though. 🙂
The eggs we had didn’t have a giant hole, you peered in a tiny hole in the center like on this sugar snowball, which is more magical. Ambient light shining in through the sugar is part of what makes it so magical.
But it’s hard to photograph, so I also made one with a bigger window. I dusted my snowmen with a little edible glitter to add to the to the magic.
According to my searches, the Easter eggs were also called Kaleidoscope or Panorama Easter eggs. I made my snowballs following the directions for Southern Living Easter Egg Kaleidoscopes. But there are some even more thorough directions out there. My favorites are How to Make Panoramic Sugar Easter Eggs and Peekaboo Sugar Eggs on Instructables.
Don’t let the directions intimidate you! It’s actually easier than decorating a cake! If you don’t have any icing experience, you can even do a slightly less fancy piping to decorate the outside of the egg and hide your seams. Just snip the corner off a zipper plastic bag and squeeze away.
If you’re all excited about making these, I’ve put together a list of all the supplies you’ll need to make a Peekaboo Easter Egg or Snowball over at Amazon, sugar egg and snowball supplies.
You can even buy sugar at Amazon, who knew?
Update 4/15: I saw that someone came to this post after searching “where can you buy peekaboo eggs.” I saw them locally this year at World Market. Other years, I’ve seen them at Target, so you might try there as well.
And last, to prove that I’m not crazy for thinking the view inside an egg is magical, have fun reading The Better World Inside the Sugar Egg, by Michelle Slatalla.
I hope you enjoy creating a glimpse into a magical world!