Easter Treats — Cooking with Kids and Kids at Heart

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My kid is 26 so to me he’s kind of both, but if you have a budding young chef in the family or neighborhood this is really an entertaining spring time cooking project – perfect for little hands. Sometimes the simplest recipes produce just the most delicious results. This is one of those recipes and now is a perfect time to make these beautiful little macaroon bird nests. It couldn’t be easier. You need coconut, egg whites, sugar, a few white chocolate chips, and colorful mini candy eggs. The recipe starts by separating eggs. Depending on the age of your chef, this may be a great time to teach them that skill. I did that last summer with a group of 12 to 15 - year olds and was amazed at their amazement. Most of them had never seen such a thing and were just dubious that it could, or even should, be a possibility. So maybe getting a jump on the process is a good thing. That part being done, the egg whites need to be whipped by hand until frothy with a spoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Finally, the coconut should be added and mixed into the egg white mixture. While that is happening, the oven can be pre-heated and a mini muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray. Now for the fun - press about 2 tablespoons of coconut mixture into each muffin tin. Using fingers – little ones work great here - or a spoon - press a dent into the coconut so it resembles a nest. The “nests” need to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not view this as a down time! This is the part where tiny chefs get to count out chocolate chips and candy eggs! There are decisions to be made! Do the blue, pink, and yellow look good together? Should one nest have all white eggs? There will be about 24 nests, so spread out a kitchen towel or some waxed paper and let the counting begin. This will involve 2 white chocolate chips and 3 mini eggs per nest. You and your youngster can handle the math. Maybe a warning note should be added here that there will be extra mini eggs. Perhaps this is the time for a well-deserved sample.

When the nests are lightly browned, remove the pan from the oven and let the nests cool a couple of minutes. With some supervision (warm muffin pan alert) put 2 white chocolate chips in each nest, let them melt a minute or two and finally – the most fun part – add the eggs. Now you have just made a beautiful and delicious Easter treat or just a pretty springtime dessert. Even if you prepare these all by yourself, I promise you will be able to make someone happy with the results. Enjoy these beautiful Macaroon Bird Nests and have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Macaroon Bird Nests

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Ingredients

 4 egg whites

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 packages of sweetened coconut (14 oz total)

White chocolate chips (about ¼ cup)

Mini candy-coated chocolate eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl beat egg whites with sugar and salt until frothy.

Stir in coconut.

Spray a 24-count mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

Place about 2 Tbsp coconut mixture into each muffin space and press with fingers or a spoon into a nest shape.

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Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

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Remove from oven and drop 2 white chocolate chips into each nest.

Allow to cool for a minute or two  while chips melt and then place 3 candy eggs in each nest.

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Carefully remove nests from muffin tin (a spoon was helpful) and allow to cool completely.

© Deer One Publishing 2018