WOW! It's hard to believe it is Spring and Easter. How did that happen? We didn't even had winter here in SE Tennessee.
But at that time of year, I always think of these bird's nest treats. Looking for recipes, I ran across one using chow mein noodles and considered that one (actually, apparently I made those a year or two ago says my friend, Donna, who still had a photo on her phone of the one I made for her). But to me, this Easter treat uses toasted coconut.
I'm not a huge coconut fan, but I certainly won't go pass a recipe just because it's one of the ingredients. But if it's toasted coconut, well that's a different story. I love the crunch and toasted flavor. Of course, you must be vigilant as forgetting for even a minute will leave you with a pile of burnt, smoking coconut. Yuck.
Just stay close to your oven. I put my tray in first for 3 minutes, took it out and stirred, then 2 minutes (stirred), and then one minute each time afterwards until it all was browning nicely. When you take it out the last time, don't stir and let it sit until cooled....it will continue to toast in that time. You'll end up with wonderfully flavored, crisp coconut.
One last note, you can use either milk chocolate or white chocolate chips. I made all of my nests with milk chocolate but had some leftover toasted coconut and a half a package of white chocolate chips so I mixed it together and rolled it into balls. Same great flavor, just not the cute presentation the nests make.
TOASTED COCONUT BIRD'S NESTS (makes 6-10 nests)
1 (7 oz) package sweetened flaked coconut
1 (11.5 oz) package milk chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter
jelly beans or small chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury minis)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spread coconut in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 7-9 minutes stirring every minute or so (see note above) especially near the end of the cooking time. Remove from the oven.
Spread waxed paper on your counter so it will be ready for the next step.
Place the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat and stir every 30 seconds until chocolate is melted.....don't overcook.
Stir the toasted coconut into the melted chocolate and placing a heaping spoonful on the waxed paper. Use your fingers to help slide off of the spoon. Quickly shape into a circle and make an indentation in the center.
Once all of the nests are on the waxed paper, go back and shape them a little more if necessary. Before the nests set, place the candy in the nests and press into the mixture. Leave them on the waxed paper until firm (you can put the paper on a cookie tray and set it in the refrigerator for quicker set-up).
Recipe Source: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/todds-friends/chocolate-and-toasted-coconut-bird-nests.html