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Easter Week: Coconut Macaroon Easter Egg Nests

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Welcome to Day 4 of Easter Week at Smart Cookie! Did you miss a hop somewhere along the week? Then be sure to check out Day 1’s Baby Chick Lemon Mousse Cookie Cups, Day 2’s Peter Cottontail’s Carrot Cake Bars, and Day 3’s Bunny Rabbit Cauliflower Pancakes.

Would you believe I never tried Cadbury Mini Eggs before this Easter? Forgive me; I live under a rock called College. However, Easter after Easter, I heard people harping about those little eggs, and I was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. Mini Eggs have a cult following; people don’t just like them; they love them and can consume an entire bag in one sitting. I myself have a passionate, all-consuming love for Cadbury Crème Eggs, so I figured the Mini Eggs couldn’t be bad if they’re made by the same UK chocolatiers.

Sign me up for the Cadbury Mini Egg Cult because I love these chocolate cuties. I don’t know if it’s against Cadbury Code for me to love Mini Eggs and Crème Eggs, because typically people are only diehards for one or the other, but I’ve got love for both. And of course, as is the case with every edible item I adore, I had to bake with the Mini Eggs. So I crafted these Coconut Macaroon Easter Egg Nests for the occasion.DSC_3214

I know they may seem too pretty to eat with their pastel green nests and the circle of colorful eggs perched on top, but I can assure you that you’ll get over that after one bite. These macaroons are chewy, coconutty perfection. But we don’t stop there; we add a perfectly-portioned dollop of luscious caramel sauce to act as glue for those undeniably delicious Cadbury Mini Eggs. It’s like a treat within a treat.

Treatception!

I’d argue that even people who don’t like coconut would happily eat a handful of these. Don’t believe me? Ask any one of my taste testers, from my parents to my co-workers to my friends; they all loved these scrumptious spring sweets. In fact, my friend from the gym dubbed them the best coconut macaroons he’s had. Not too shabby, eh?

The colors and whimsy of these macaroons make them so fun and delightful that they’ll put a smile on anybody‘s face this Easter (o should I say anybunny’s face?). Sure, they look fancy, but they’re actually easy as pie to make. The macaroons are a quick, one-bowl deal, then you just glue on the eggs with the caramel. The only real challenge is trying not to eat a dozen at a time.DSC_3203

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t like caramel, chocolate sauce would be equally delicious “glue.”
  2. You could split the macaroon batter into three batches and dye each batch a different color so you have multiple shades of “Easter grass.”
  3. Keep an eye on these guys in the oven. Macaroons go from done to burnt fairly quickly.
  4. You have to make the indentations in the macaroons while they’re still warm and fresh from the oven, or it won’t work.
  5. If you skip making the indentations, you’ll have nowhere to put the caramel and no way to get the eggs to stick.DSC_3169

Coconut Macaroon Easter Egg Nests
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – about 18 nests (or double the recipe and make 36)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Green food dye
  • 1 bag Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • 1 jar caramel sauce, recommended: Wegmans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut, egg whites, flour, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, salt, and food dye until well-combined and color is evenly distributed.
  3. Form mixture into balls, roughly a tablespoon’s worth each, and place on baking sheet. Flatten out slightly.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and set. Immediately, using something with a flat, round base (I used the bottom of an ice cream scoop handle), gently press down into the center of each macaroon, creating an indentation. Let sit for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Place a small dollop of caramel sauce into the craters of each macaroon, about 1 teaspoon’s worth. Stick 2 – 4 eggs into each crater, using the caramel as glue. Store macaroons in an air-tight container.DSC_3235
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Colleen Bierstine

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