I know, I know, this is late. Honestly, the idea came to me at about 5 pm on Saturday night and they weren’t out of the oven until around 9… but I had to share. Because look at the CUTE. These chocolate macaroons taste good, too, not overly sugary and very pleasantly chocolaty, with just enough coconut. They are chewy and light with a bit of crunch on the bottom and from the candy shell.
Saturday afternoon, I was trying to think of something to bring to Easter brunch (I know, they’re cookies, but stay with me) and had chosen a nice muffin recipe to make, with coconut and pineapple, mmm. The coconut made me remember the cake my Mom used to make every year in the shape of the Easter bunny’s head: one round cake was the face, the second round cake was cut as though following the stitches on a baseball to become two ears and a bow tie. She would decorate with coconut to represent the bunny fur and let us use jelly beans or other candies to define his features and spiff up his tie. Cute overload, and so delicious. At that point, I decided to make the muffins AND the bunny cake, and frantically announced that we had to go to the grocery store in search of Cadbury Mini Eggs to decorate the bunny’s tie. HAD TO. On the day before Easter. So, off we went, and as cliche as it sounds, there was an early Easter miracle, because we found three bags of Mini Eggs on the shelf. At the first store we tried. Phew.
Fast forward to later in the afternoon, when I decided that I really didn’t want to make a cake; it was a brunch, after all, and CJ would be there, and she often makes cake, and her cakes are often way better than mine… Cake idea scrapped. Muffin idea still on. I made dinner, and as I was standing there stirring the broccolini, I had a lightbulb idea: I would use the triumphantly-procured Mini Eggs to make those peanut butter cookies I love with the Hershey’s Kisses in them, thumbprint style, with Mini Eggs in place of the Kisses. Aw yeah! And then my brain kept working and I thought about making a cookie that looked more like a nest, maybe something with coconut? So I found a delicious chocolate macaroon recipe from The Joy of Baking and then placed two Mini Eggs into each one, hot out of the oven, and got these:
Aren’t they adorable? Cute and tasty. Maybe there is some candy left at your grocery store? Or, even better, maybe there will be a lonely bag on sale tomorrow? You should probably go look.
If not, save this recipe for next Easter, and maybe plan to make it twice, or if you can’t wait, make them now and replace the Mini Eggs with another pastel-colored chocolate candy with a shell. There has to be something out there. They can be Spring nests! Or Earth Day nests! Later in the year you can make Labor Day nests! I bet you can find an excuse to make some.
Easter Nests (recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking)
- 4 oz. dark chocolate (I used 63%)
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 c. cocoa
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 c. shredded sweetened coconut
- 32-64 Cadbury Mini Eggs (or a similar small, shelled chocolate candy)
In a double boiler, or a bowl placed over a simmering pan of water, melt the chocolate; remove from the heat as soon as it is melted.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites slightly and then whisk in the cocoa, sugar and salt until smooth. Add the coconut and melted dark chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour to allow it to firm up.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Use a tablespoon or scoop to make 32 equal-sized balls; it’s okay if some coconut straggles out at the bottom of each one, since you want them to look like a nest. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. Immediately upon removing them from the oven, press one or two candies into each cookie. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the parchment.