Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cute Bird Nest Cookies for Spring

I first saw these cute cookies on Catching Fireflies' Blog "Sweet Treats For Easter." The recipe she links to is over at "Unoriginal Mom: Chocolate Peanut Butter Nests." If you are familiar with no-bake haystack cookies, then you know what these cookies are already. Only instead of piling them in whatever amorphous blob shape they fall into when you plop them on the cookie sheet to cool, you shape them into flattened amorphous blobs then place Chocolate Mini Eggs (my favorite Easter candy) on top. You could also use miniature Robins Eggs, or M&Ms, but why do that when you can have Mini Eggs? 

All you need to make these little darlings are a bag of mini marshmallows, 1/4 cup of butter, 1 cup of chocolate chips (the linked recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but I needed more in order to get everything covered, so I doubled it), 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter (see note behind chocolate chips), and a bag of chow mein noodles. 

When I have made haystack cookie in the past, I don't think I used marshmallows, and although they helped bind everything firmly together, I feel like it might have been more trouble than it was worth. Melting the marshmallows in the microwave, then trying to stir in melted chocolate, peanut butter, and butter resulted in a HUGE, GOOEY MESS that was then difficult to mix in order to fully coat the chow mein noodles. (Don't worry about the noodles breaking as you stir. It makes them easier to manage.)

I feel like the recipe I am used to for haystack cookies requires melting some butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips all together, mixing thoroughly, then coating the chow mein noodles. I feel pretty confident that this recipe could be used to make bird nests, too. 

Whatever recipe you use, spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or spread out some wax paper (I never use wax paper) and scoop up some "batter" with a large spoon and drop it onto the cookie sheet. I had to sort of shape them into nests and make room for the mini eggs. I fit two eggs per nest. Be sure to add the eggs while the goo is still wet so that as it dries, the eggs stick and don't roll all over the place. Though we did have some eggs escape their nests, most stayed in place until devoured. 
These bird nest cookies were quite the hit at our family Easter celebration. Some people had never seen haystack cookies before and reacted with a "What the heck are those!?" but they liked them in the end. I love making themed food, and I rarely get the chance, so this recipe was perfect in its simplicity and tastiness. Now I'm trying to think how I can alter it for other holidays. Halloween is easy (add candy corn), but the rest I am not so sure. It sounds like a fun challenge anyway.

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