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Posted on Jun 22, 2006 in Bento, Eggs, Equipment, For Kids, Onigiri or Sushi, Recipe, Rice, Tips, Tutorial or How-to | 120 comments

Williams Sonoma for egg molds?!?!

Williams Sonoma for egg molds?!?!

How did I make this barnyard snack bento for my son without a traditional rice ball mold or egg mold?

Barnyard Snack Bento for Toddler

So my bento fixation is getting worse, and I’ve been browsing shops all over San Francisco looking for bento accessories in unexpected places. I wandered into Williams-Sonoma seeking inspiration. Usually I walk out empty-handed because of their prices, but full of ideas of things to buy somewhere cheaper. And then I saw these ice cream sandwich molds in cute shapes.

Molds

At first I thought, $14 for three molds that you’d only use a few times a year? Uh, pass. Then I realized that they could do quadruple-duty as cookie cutters, onigiri (rice ball) molds and boiled egg shapers for a child’s lunches. Perfect!!! Maybe even Alton Brown would approve — not a uni-tasker!

This is what the finished ice cream sandwiches are supposed to look like with the molds:

Ice cream sandwiches

Each mold consists of three pieces, with a cookie-cutter portion, little cap for the bottom, and a shaped plunger with a raised plastic design to create the pattern (giving you the cow face, etc.).

Molds

I figured they’d work just fine as ice cream sandwich molds, cookie cutters, and onigiri molds, but I was most curious about how they’d do as hard-boiled egg shapers. You may have seen these crazy gadgets before (photo below): you hard-boil an egg, peel it while it’s hot, pop it into a plastic mold while it’s still hot and pliant, and click the lid shut. Dump the whole thing into cold water for 10 minutes, and you’ve got an egg that looks like a rabbit head or a star. Only thing is, they’re hard to come by outside Japan, and they don’t seem to have many other uses. (June 2014 EDIT: You can get the egg molds below and a variety of others at stores such as Amazon, J-List starting at $3.20 per pair (international shipping), and from eBay sellers. Check out my list of online bento stores for additional sources.)

Molds for hard-boiled eggs

I boiled three eggs, peeled them while they were still very hot, and plopped them into the wet molds. But because these molds weren’t originally designed for eggs, they don’t have little latches to keep everything closed tightly around the egg while it chills in water. I improvised by looping a thick rubber band around the plunger & mold to apply even pressure. Here they are taking a cold bath:

Molds

Fresh out of the mold, this is what they look like:

Molded eggs, undyed

The star and pig shapes turned out okay, but the cow shape would have been better had I used extra-large or jumbo eggs instead of large. Had to be careful removing the plunger from the face of the egg. Next time I may spray the face of the plunger with a little Pam (vegetable oil spray) before putting the egg in the mold.

Deciding to dye the star and the pig eggs, I filled a couple of ramekins halfway with cold water and mixed in a little food coloring (blue and red). Left them in for a few minutes until they got to a color I liked.

Molded eggs in dye

Voila! Dyed, molded eggs from an ice cream sandwich maker!!!

Dyed, molded eggs

I looked around on the web for other places to find them, and found Tovolo ice cream sandwich molds on Amazon.com slightly cheaper, and in additional designs. Mission accomplished! (July 2007 EDIT: Evidently WalMart is now selling the cow/pig set for US$5, and Williams Sonoma has the three-piece set back in stores on sale for US$10. Full update here.)

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  1. thank you for sharing!
    i’ll definetely be getting some!

  2. I came here from the bento community and I am SO EXCITED!!! I want to start molding eggs so bad…. and making ice crem sandwiches. MMM

  3. Go for it!!! The next thing I thought I’d try with them is laying the little plastic cap on top of some white rice, and sprinkling furikake (or soboro, or sakura denbu) all around it so that there’s a cutout shape of one of the barnyard animals left. Can them decorate the face left on the white rice left clean after I remove the plastic cap. Woo hoo — maybe the molds can do quintuple duty?!

  4. I love..no I adore the Icecreams BUT the Molded Eggs Oh My Goodness this was totally to much cutness….its made me think of other things I can use as molds now
    CHeers

  5. ohh thanks for the tutorial on this. really cute♥

  6. I found some on ebay! here and here.

  7. Oh, wow. Thanks for sharing this :)

  8. OOo, thank you for sharing! I found you in Flickr.

    I just found the whole egg molding thing today, and I just ordered my first set of molds! I can’t wait for them to come in!

    I had wondered if one could use other molding things if all the sides were solid, you answered my question. Thank you!

    Can’t wait to mold some eggs!

  9. You know, one of the first egg molds I saw was clear plastic and supposed to make SQUARE (i.e. cube) eggs! And I recently saw someone who used four chopsticks around a warm, freshly shelled egg (rubber bands to keep everything in place) to create little flowers when you slice the egg. More power to multi-taskers in the kitchen! Let me know if you have a brainstorm — I love to accumulate little kitchen tips.

  10. I put the star/heart/weirdshaped thingie on amazon in my wish list :)

  11. They’ve held up really well — plus they’re good for more than just eggs. Hooray multitaskers!

  12. Alton Brown would be proud :)

  13. This is a great idea! Thanks so much for putting it out there on the WEB!

  14. Way too cute. I’ll have to get some of those multi-purpose ice cream molds. :D Thanks for the tip.
    Michelle

  15. how long do you boil your eggs for?

  16. I use the Cooks’ Illustrated method: put eggs in cold water to cover, bring to a boil, then shut off heat. Cover and let sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. Take them out and put in cold water for 10 minutes (or in the case of the molded eggs, shell them hot, pop them in the molds, and drop them in the cold water bath for 10 minutes). Perfect every time, no overcooking (and nasty greenish ring around the yolk).

  17. Wow, that was a clever idea! I love when things have several uses, and this is truly a multi-purpose tool! I’ll start looking for those as I’m a sucker for cute shaping tools :o)

  18. I got a set of the Tovalo molds, but even with jumbo eggs, I had problems getting the egg to fill the mold and shape properly. For one, the white cracked open on me. I made sure the eggs were still hot (ouch ouch fingers!), too. What might I be doing wrong?

    A problem I’ve already figured out: Instead of rubber bands, I tried using my cast-iron frypan as a weight, since it could cover all three molds simultaneously. I had crookedness problems because of that – the plungers didn’t stay level. Scratch that method.

    I just got my first ‘regular’ egg mold and haven’t tried that one yet, but I can see the difference in volume easily, so I think my egg-fish’ll be more successful.

  19. Probable cause of the white cracking open: too much weight on the stopper. Play with different thicknesses of rubber bands — I find that a thick blue one from broccoli or asparagus is perfect when looped over onto itself once. The rubber band also gives you good control over level/crookedness — play around with it.

  20. Heh, figures I was excessive. What about my fill problem, though?

  21. Which shape mold did you have the fill problem with, and how did you orient the egg inside of it? (i.e. pointy side facing where?)

  22. All three, actually – those being the star-heart-squircle set (with, I think I mentioned, jumbo eggs). I think… [tries to remember] I might have tried putting them in vertically? I’m not sure.

  23. I can’t speak to the heart or squircle (LJ user telophase can, though), but I can address the star. All of the Japanese egg molds I have came with directions about which way to point the egg for best results. With the star I’ve had the best luck pointing the pointy side straight up toward the plunger while it’s still hot and pliable. I’ll try another batch this week.

  24. I’ll try again myself when I can get some more eggs (I’ve run a bit short). And I’ll look up Telophase‘s LJ, too, thank you.

  25. I’ll give it a try! I have to find a rubber band or two first (aside from the egg shortage)….

  26. thank you for posting this!
    i got the ice cream sandwich molds the other day (impulse buy) and i immediately started using them as rice molds instead. it had not occurred to me to use them as egg molds too, but then i found your tutorial while googling for egg molds. yay!

  27. Wonderful! Welcome!

  28. I absolutely love it. And I love that you take all the time & energy to do this wonderful stuff and keep life from getting boring and drab and routine…I admit I laughed at your slogan ‘saving you time in the morning’, because to slothful, disorganized people like me ‘saving time in the morning’ means forgetting to pack a lunch. I really admire what you’re doing here and feel, dare I say, inspired to try it myself. Thanks!! :-)
    -Kate

  29. you combined two of my favorite things: Alton Brown and Food Shaped like Food.

  30. oh my gosh, absolutely amazing! i think you are a bona fide bento genius :D

  31. Thanks Kate! Hmm, maybe I should rethink the “saving you time in the morning” slogan. Any ideas?

  32. Alton rocks! I just caught the Good Eats “Behind the Scenes” special from last year and saw how they film the show — fascinating!

  33. Thanks caf_pow! Genius, maybe not. Cheap, definitely!

  34. I’m thinking more along the lines of ‘developing your child’s inner gourmet’ or ‘peanut butter: it’s not for lunch any more’. Ahh, when I think back to my paper bag school lunches with the warm yogurt, the smooshed banana and the peanut butter graham crackers…(sigh). I hope your kid is thanking you! :-)

  35. wow, that is just really awesome. i’d much rather eat hard boiled eggs shaped like a star or a cute little piggie! :)

  36. My two-year-old agrees with you! :-)

  37. Nice! I’ll rethink the tag line along your lines… Add it to a long list of to-dos (I’m starting to work on a standalone website as well).

  38. I know this is coming late but I’ll have to say, “Well done, Biggie!” Also, I was wondering if the ice-cream molds can be used to make jellies/puddings? I’m not sure how tight they are to hold liquids but it works for the egg molds. :)

    • Thanks chiisai_bara! (little rose?) I haven’t made jellies or puddings before, so I can’t speak from experience. But the bottoms are very secure and the tops seem secure as well. How tight does the seal need to be for jellies/puddings? Watertight?

      • Sorry this reply is coming a bit late. I didn’t realise you’d replied. Well, I don’t think the top needs to be really secure or sealed at all. You know how the egg molds are like? I made jellies with them opened (ie. you pour the jelly mixture into the molds with it opened and get 2 half bear faces – a bit like when you slice the molded egg in half when it’s done). I hope my explanation is somewhat clear enough..

  39. Genius! Thanks for posting this!

  40. So Cool! I found some today at Walmart for $5!!!!!!!!

  41. @45 from queenkimie:
    Score! I did a quick shopping update last Thursday with info on other places to get them (Walmart set of cow/pig for $5, Williams Sonoma currently has a sale of cow/pig/star for $10) — just edited the post above to include a link to that. The molds work really well for me; I’m pleased with them.

  42. Very creative.

  43. @50 from Jamie:
    Thanks, Jamie!

  44. THANK YOU. I was traveling in Taiwan, and I bought the fish and car shaped egg molds at a japanese shop. however, i don’t read a bit of japanese. When I finally got home in the states, I cracked open a raw egg, filled the mold, and threw it into a pot of water to boil. Of course I know plastic + heat = bad, but I couldn’t think of any other way. Anyway, it definitely did not work as the egg seeped out of the mold and left me a nice mess to deal with. But just a few minutes ago, I stumbled upon your website from yumsugar, and can finally use my molds the correct way! Thank you so much =)

  45. @58 from C:
    I was puzzled the first time I saw a photo of molded eggs — seeing photos of the molds was only marginally helpful as I didn’t have the molds and thought they were too pricey on eBay. Glad the timing worked out for you to find this post!!!

  46. Thanks for the tutorial! I have seen both sets in Wal-Mart all summer and wondered if they would work as egg molds!

  47. I love all that you do! All seems so perfect and beautiful! And the tips are very useful. The eggs are just adorable!.. Thank you for sharing this.

  48. @63 from Catarina:
    Hey, thanks Catarina! Very kind of you. Stick around for more tips — I’ve got a lot more coming.

  49. How great is that? I was getting these molds anyway, because I’m a cake decorator and just had to have them. And they were on sale for 9.95 (i think) today at Williams-sonoma. Oh my dear, I’m so thrilled I can make eggs with these. I was terribly dissapointed that I couldn’t find an egg mold today.

  50. @65 from Valarie: I talked with some folks at Williams Sonoma after updating this, and they said that US$10 (ballpark) is basically their new price for this set. No plans to take the price back up to $14. The egg molds are challenging to find, but honestly the ice cream sandwich molds are better quality than the “proper” egg molds I have (sold basically 2 for $1 in Japan).

  51. I use the ice cream molds for shaping mini burgers. I get uniformly shaped turkey burgers that fit into mini pitas or small dinner rolls.

  52. @67 from deborah: Ooh, excellent hack, deborah! Plus there’s the added bonus of their being shaped like a cow or pig! ;-) I like it.

  53. i found these (well, the tovolo cow/pig/chicken set) this week on post-summer clearance at bel air in sacramento (nob hill in the bay area is the same company & carries the same basic products). i had already bought them at the full $10, but they also had the popsicle molds (rockets/stars/grooved) on %50/off as well. if you have a nob hill market near you, you may want to check ;)

  54. @69 from missloopy: Thanks for the sourcing info, missloopy!

  55. i am sooo excited I have been making bentos for dd and they are soo cute and her teacher says they are the best, and DD eats em up!! thanks so much for your site
    I got the WS molds I have only made rice with them no eggs yet…
    i want to start a blog but don’t know how but i love your site!

  56. @71 from Natesgirl: How old is your daughter? What kind of food does she like? Glad to hear the molds are working out for you, and thanks for the kind words!

  57. Finally tried this for the first time…and it worked beautifully! I used the heart ice cream mold, and sent it in my son’s lunch. A teacher who saw it made the comment that I need to get a life! I’m offended…So I suppose that putting love and effort into a child’s lunch is frowned upon by other people. Do you ever run into this problem? I’m a stay at home mom, and enjoy what I do for my kids. I am happy that I’m offering them healthy alternatives to the lunch cafeteria.

  58. @73 from deborah: The way I look at molding eggs is that if I want hard-boiled eggs, I’m going to have to boil, shell, and give them a cold-water bath anyway. The additional step of plopping them into an egg mold or ice cream sandwich mold takes very little time, so it’s maximum impact for minimal effort. She should respect the efficiency, if nothing else — it’s not like you’re hand-sculpting faces on there with tiny tools or anything.

  59. Soooo glad I found this post because I was very close to ordering a set of the egg molds…I’ll try these ice cream sandwich molds instead! Thanks for all the info!

  60. @75 from jenny-up the hill: If you can find the egg molds super-cheap (i.e. US$1 or so per mold), then they’re nice to have around. But if you’d be paying through the nose for them, I’d pass unless money is not an issue.

  61. I had forgotten about these when I was at Williams-Sonoma last week, when all of a sudden my wife walks up with them and says, “look at these, aren’t they cute?”

    I got all excited and told her about this, so we bought them. I just got through making them and they turned out really well!

    Thanks for this post! Heck, thanks for this whole blog!

  62. @77 from Thomas J. Brown: Great that they worked out for you! Yes, they were packaged so nicely in WS that they were hugely tempting; figuring out that they could multi-task was just the bit of rationalization that I needed to pull out the credit card. Thanks for the kind words about my blog, BTW!

  63. What a great idea! You were inspired! Love the colors too!

  64. @79 from Gayle: Thanks, Animom!

  65. I’ve been on the look out for these icecream molds ever since I saw them on your LJ. Unfortunately things like egg and icecream moulds are just non-existant here in Melbourne (Australia). I finally tripped over a box of them on sale at the local shopping centre today. Talk about luck! They’re not the same pig and cow shapes but I grabbed them anyway. I’ve got a star, a heart, and some other strange shape. Hopefully this will encourage my 4 year old to eat eggs.

  66. @81 from Annette: Wow, great to hear that you came across the molds in Australia! What store did you find them in, and is it a chain in Oz? Other readers in Melbourne would probably be interested…

  67. They were being sold in a House store, which is a chain retailer of mostly kitchenware. I found a whole pile of them near the door marked down to almost half price.

  68. Oh yes, I found them in the Northlands Shopping Centre in Preston, north of the CBD.

  69. @83/84 from Annette: Thanks for additional Australia shopping info, Annette!

  70. The rubber bands are very smart. I simply used a
    bar clamp
    which admittedly is a bit overkill. But it yields decent results.

    Julie

  71. @86 from Julie: Wow, I like the bar clamp! Nice touch.

  72. Biggie,

    That is very nice tutorial… I actually ordered car and fish egg molds couple of days ago, but they did not arrived yet… I can’t wait to try them out.

    Have a good day, Margot

  73. @88 from Coffee and Vanilla: The car & fish-shaped egg molds are fun — you’ll just want to play around with what size egg fits best to give you the best definition. With those, remember to face the pointy end of the egg up for best definition.

  74. I received moulds and tried them finally! :) I have to try again with bigger eggs this time… but I love how they come out anyway… I will try also to add some colour later… :) Thnak you for ideas.

    Have a great weekend, Margot

  75. Today I found a set of cow and pig molds in Walmart for $4. They were in the Tupperware section. They are the exact same molds, but the package says they were manufactured for Walmart. Weird, but lucky :-)

  76. @91 from Jessica: Ah, Tovolo must be OEM’ing them for Walmart. Are those the ones without the cow’s nose?

  77. I didn’t realize it last night as I was trying them out as egg molds, but now that you mention it, I don’t think the cow had a nose. Thanks for your instructions by the way, they worked great!

  78. @93 from Jessica: My pleasure! I think the ones from Walmart don’t have the cow nose, but you can always draw that on later with food if you like.

  79. I never knew you could mold hard boiled eggs!
    I just tried it. I don’t have anything cute to mold them with. Instead I put four eggs into my 6 oz. Lock & Lock. Result: not cute, but cube (ish) eggs that will fit nicely in a corner of my 600 ml one that I’ve been making lunches in. I put a picture on my flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9839083@N04/2368061922/in/set-72157600719919946/

  80. @95 from Sunflower: Very inventive to make four egg cubes in your little Lock & Lock container! I added your Flickr photo to my favorites.

  81. I use the ice cream molds for shaping mini burgers. I get uniformly shaped turkey burgers that fit into mini pitas

  82. @99 from make sushi: I tried that once as well — made little cow-shaped burgers with the ice cream sandwich molds. They were cute!

  83. lol biggie a cow shaped burger

  84. @102 from Nazarina Andrychow: Thank you for the kind comment, Nazarina! Nice looking crab cakes, BTW — yum yum.

  85. Oooh. I love this! Now I’m on the prowl for egg moulds. This idea is brilliant and turned out well, thank you!

  86. I bought these at a Williams Sonoma post-Christmas for $5 and used them right away that day for PB&J sandwiches! They were delicious. I still want to use them for ice cream sandwiches, and now I think I’ll try rice and eggs too!

    (BTW, coincidentally I had a fish egg today and my boyfriend the car. They work really well.)

  87. I don’t know how many Canadians read this site, but I’m in Calgary, Alberta and have a lot of trouble sometimes finding the ingredients or bento box supplies. These little sandwich molds were really difficult to find, I searched William-Somona and Wal-Mart but no luck. Then one day I happened across them at Safeway. So if you’re Canadian, find them at Safeway. :) It’s a cow, pig and chicken however. The stars are sold in another package that can only be bought through the company.

  88. Hi Biggie:
    Thank you so much for all the helpful information!!
    I love your rice shaped as the cow and wanted to know….what did you use to create the cow’s eyes & nose?

  89. @108 from Darlene: I used ume-shiso paste sold in a squeezy bottle for the cow eyes & nose — yummy!

  90. I picked up a star & heart egg mold set at Daiso in Mountain View — $1.50. Also little car & heart molds for poached eggs (my son’s current obsession). They probably have some at Saramonte, too. (Maybe even at the new store in Cupertino?)

  91. Hi Biggie,

    You are SUCH a HUGE inspiration to me!!! I have linked your site on my site many times! You always inspire me so i thought you could inspire my readers as well! I also sell egg molds! I currently live on Okinawa and have access to tons of bento stuff! If you EVER need or want anything from here…it is YOURS at cost no profit for me if its going to you! You have inspired me and taught me so much through your site here and on LJ.

    Thanks So Much!
    Katy~

  92. @106 Laurel

    Thanks for the heads up… I’m in Calgary too & I’m just about to start looking for Bento supplies! Do you have any other tips?!

    Thanks!
    Lisa

  93. Hey there.
    This is a very fun looking way to make eggs. I don’t have icecream sandwhich molds though.

    Do you think using muffin molds or cookie cutters (with two lids on either side of it) would work as well?

    Also, do you think using metal would make your eggs uneatable?

  94. @117 from Natasha: Theoretically muffin molds or cookie cutters could work as well as the lids on the top and bottom were secure and made full contact with the hot egg in the middle. Because the egg shouldn’t have to be in contact with the molds for more than about 10 minutes in the ice water bath, I don’t think metal should be much of an issue — just take the egg out after it’s molded. Hope this helps!

  95. Biggie, question….

    My kids don’t care for boiled eggs, but I think they’d like the shaped food. What else could I use the egg molds for? I love them, but would hate to buy them without a plan.

  96. @121 from Tiffany: If you get the ice cream sandwich molds you’ve got lots of options (egg, rice, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, risotto cakes, crab cakes, etc.). The single-purpose egg molds are less flexible; they’re really best for eggs although you could mold any of the previous things in them except using them to cut out sandwiches. You might experience more trouble unmolding them from the egg molds, though.

  97. I just snagged these exact molds at Ross for $6 for set of three. the only reason I got them was because I remembered this post and thought my kids would get a kick out of making cool shaped eggs, so thank you. We are off to try it. :)

  98. I juz thought about makin a nice lunch box for my lil to school…your mold’s ideas are very good resource for me!! Thx. Mommy from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia xoxo

  99. Found the molds at Ross for $1.99 (cow, pig, chicken). Apparently it depends what neighborhood you go to because another local Ross had a different set, same manufacturer for $7.49 (heart, star, circle/square).

    Thanks for your wonderful posts. Now I know why my eggs popped while boiling!

  100. This is great! I found a random link for you on another site (think it was for your freezer magnets), and I’ve been hooked ever since! I pretty much have a desk job right now, and even I get bored of the same old thing, so I’m getting lots of great ideas here, but I can just imagine how fun this will be when my now-one-year-old starts school! You are an inspiration!

  101. Ichiban kans online just closed last week. Rats

  102. Hey, I just checked Amazon and they have a cute little set of egg molds for 3.50- a heart and a star

  103. I just found similar molds to these on clearance at the Cost Plus World Market in Olympia, WA. They are Tovolo brand on clearance for $5.98. The shapes are cow, pig, and chicken.

  104. Now you can buy the actual egg-shapers at amazon.com

  105. I’m going to japan tomorrow i’m just wondering where can i buy these egg molders in Tokyo? my god daughter loves hello kitty so i think i’m gonna buy it for her. Thanks

  106. I know of another way to save even more time and hastle to make the eggs. I was given a combination toaster and egg cooker (makes egg patties for an egg muffin or cooks the egg in the shell) it steams the eggs to perfection and comes with a handy water measuring cup marked for soft medium or hard boiled/poached eggs. i prefer the soft boiled because the yolk is still soft after the egg has cooled. I also heard somewhere (i think it was on Good Eats) that steaming or poaching an egg instead of boiling keeps the yolk from forming that green colored layer around it. and in my toaster it only takes a few minutes to poach the eggs in the morning

  107. Help… I so want to do bento and egg molds.. I would really like the flower mold.. but I need cheap.. can anyone help me out with links… I love bento.. its just the best thing.. I have 2 new grandaughters and can’t wait to do bento for them.. I have so enjoyed reading everyones post.. its great the way we help each other out… Thanks so much..

  108. OHHHH MY GOSHHHH!!! i’ve been trying to find those egg molds everywhere and couldnt find thembut your idea with the sandwich molds fabulous!!!

    i dont know why but eating the molded eggs made me soooo much happier than just eating a regular round egg!!! Thanks so much.

  109. you know those egg shapers above, the one with the fish and bunny and bear? i got those from a store called Sugoi Life for a couple bucks all together.

    anyways thanks for the tutorial ^^

  110. I haven’t walked into a Williams Sonoma in ages. The ice cream sandwiches look great – I wonder if they still carry those items?

  111. Hi,

    This posting was great. I ordered these molds today and can’t wait until they get here. Bento boxes are my new favorite thing and my son loves them.

    Thanks so much for the great ideas!

  112. Those are so cute! I normally just free-form it but I might try the presses for some tofu.

  113. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you present.
    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  114. Great tutorial! I like how to use the rubber band on those animal molds, very smart! :)

  115. hi there,

    am really interesting with the ice-cream sandwich mold.
    mind to share where to get this mold?

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