Since Easter is so late in the month this year, I haven't seen many fun Easter recipes popping up just yet. However, all of the stores are going full steam ahead with the Easter candy, which means I am on my second bag of those addictive Cadbury mini eggs. I started with a bag of the classic and then yesterday, found a bag of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, I tell you! This is my weakness so naturally I bought another bag. (Side note: Did you know these famous mini eggs have there own Facebook page? Check it out!)
So once I got home, I started brainstorming ways I could incorporate these eggs into a fun Easter cookie and I decided I wanted to put them in little "nests." Sometime last year I tackled macaroons (not to be confused with macarons, although people do interchange the spellings) and I remembered the little bits of toasted coconut slightly resembled the twigs in a nest.
If you have never had a mararoon, you really should try these. I don't really like coconut and even I think they are tasty. They are light and airy, slightly sweet, and a bit chewy. And of course the trio of dark chocolate eggs in the center doesn't hurt! I revisited the recipe I used last time from Ready For Dessert by David Lebovitz but made a couple of changes to get the nest effect.
Macaroon Easter Egg Nests
adapted from Ready For Dessert
Makes about 20 nests (His recipe makes 30 but I made mine a bit bigger to hold the eggs)
1¼ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2½ cups unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened and thought it worked great)
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
small chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury minis)
In a large skillet, mix together the egg whites, sugar, salt, honey, coconut and flour.
Heat over low-to-moderate heat on the stovetop, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom as you stir.
When the mixture just begins to scorch at the bottom, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
(At this point, the mixture can be chilled for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months.)
When ready to bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Form the dough into 2-inch mounds with your fingers evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Gently press a slight indentation in the center of each cookie. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until deep golden brown. As soon as you remove from the oven, (carefully) add 2-3 chocolate eggs (depending on the size of your cookies) to each "nest." Cool completely.
Notes: Avoid packing the dough when transferring to the baking sheet - you want your cookies to stay light and airy.
Also, if you feel like making these during other times of the year, they taste amazing dipped in melted chocolate (as the original recipe suggests).
How sweet are these? Wouldn't they be cute as and extra treat from the Easter Bunny?
Here, I made one for you - Enjoy!