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Posted on Jun 22, 2006 | 121 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. (July 2008 EDIT: You can get the egg molds below cheaply at Ichiban Kan’s online store for US$1.50 per pair (US shipping only), 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. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. Ichiban kans online just closed last week. Rats

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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..

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ^^

  13. Wow! For a nice and researching bing all day in this and i as a final point think it is in this article!

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

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

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

  19. hi there,

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

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