Spring has sprung and these sweet little nests are the perfect way to celebrate. Tuck them into an Easter basket, pass a plate around after a family dinner, or stash them all away for your own secret snacking (we’ll never tell).
4 cups (465 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
3 egg whites
1/2 cup (110g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips
75 chocolate mini eggs
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325 F.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg whites on high until foamy. Add vanilla and salt, and beat on medium high until combined. With the mixer still running, slowly add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on high until the egg whites are thick, glossy, and hold soft peaks.
Use a spatula to fold the coconut into the egg whites until completely combined.
Scoop out two tablespoons of the coconut mixture per cookie and mound onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Press a hole into the centre of the mound, but don’t flatten the edges of the cookie. The nests will flatten and spread as they bake so it’s best to start with a tall mound. Shape the cookies an inch apart on the trays to allow for spreading.
Bake the cookies 15 to 20 minutes until they are golden brown around the top and edges. The centre will puff up slightly during baking, so use a spoon to gently press it down while the cookies are still warm. Because the cookies are delicate after baking, either transfer the entire sheet of parchment paper to a wire rack to cool, or allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet until they are firm enough to transfer with a spatula.
While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 45-second bursts, stirring after each one to help them melt evenly. The melted chocolate can either be piped or spooned into the indentation of each cookie. Place three candy mini eggs into the melted chocolate in the centre of each nest and allow the chocolate to set before serving.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature and up to three months in the freezer.
Stephanie Eddy, who writes about her baking exploits at clockworklemon.com, lives in Calgary.