Easter Bird Nests are a fun, easy Easter candy recipe. These whimsical candies are especially good to make with children. If you don’t want to use chow mein noodles, you can substitute approximately 3 cups of cereal—twig-shaped cereals will work best, but crisped rice or cornflakes will taste great too.
- 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 4 tablespoons/2 ounces butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups crispy chow mein noodles
- 1/4 cup small candy eggs
- 12 marshmallow Peeps
- 1/2 cup coconut (shredded)
- 1 drop green food coloring
- Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1. Prepare a muffin tin by spraying it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and butter. Microwave for 1 minute then remove and stir vigorously. If the marshmallows are not fully melted, microwave for an additional 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallows are melted. Stir the marshmallow and butter mixture until it is smooth and homogenous.
3. Add the vanilla extract and chow mein noodles and stir until the noodles are completely and evenly covered with the mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle, but still warm enough to manipulate.
4. Using a large spoon, evenly divide the chow mein noodles among the 12 muffin tin holes.
5. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, and mold the noodles into a nest shape, indenting the center and pressing the edges up the sides of the tin.
6. Place the nests in the refrigerator to set while you prepare the coconut. Place the coconut into a small bowl and add a drop or two of green food coloring. Using your hands, rub the coconut together until the green color is well-dispersed. (Wear plastic gloves if you don’t want to get your hands green—the coloring usually washes out right away, though.)
7. Sprinkle the coconut on top of the nests. Add two or three eggs to each nest, and top them with a Peep. If you are going to be transporting these, you can melt a small amount of chocolate chips and use the melted chocolate to secure the eggs and Peeps to the nest. Otherwise, you can leave them loose and allow people to eat the nests piece by piece.
8. Allow the marshmallow mixture to completely set before removing the nests. To remove them, slide a knife around the sides of the tin and gently insert it under the bottom of the nest to pull it out.
9. These nests are best at room temperature. They can be kept in a wax-paper lined Tupperware container for up to a week, but the Peeps will get stale quickly, so add those at the last minute if you are making these in advance.