Introduction: Edible Easter Nests
When my kids were little I didn't have much money to spend on Easter goodies. So I usually purchased a new summer outfit and made Easter nests. Each dinner plate at Easter dinner had a nest on it. This became a family tradition. Now the kids have grown up and have children of their own, I still make the nests for all of them.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools.
Collect 18 plastic zip loc sandwich bags, a large pan or Dutch oven, a large long handled spoon, a small spatula, a knife or spoon, and a pancake turner or something that is flat on the bottom to stir the melted chocolate. You will also need a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, or just lay the waxed paper on the table or countertop.
Step 2: Purchase Ingredients.
You will use a 12 ounce bag of Chow Mein noodles, 1 pound of melting chocolate, either melting buttons or block type, 54 egg shaped Easter candies, and 18 chicken shaped Peeps, optional. Depending on the size nests you make, this recipe should yield approximately 18 nests that are 3" across.
Step 3: Begin Recipe.
If you are using block chocolate, to aid the chocolate in melting more quickly, break or cut the block into smaller pieces. You may use regular chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or flavored chips also. I have heard of adding peanut butter to the mix but don't know the required measurement. Oil based mint or cherry flavoring for chocolate might be good also. Melt the chocolate over low heat while frequently stirring with a flat bottomed utensil being careful to not let it scorch. When chocolate is completely melted, add the Chow Mein noodles. Stir until they are totally coated with chocolate. Drop a 3" clump of what now looks like twigs on waxed paper.
Step 4: Shape Nests
Shape nests by gently pressing your spoon into the center of the clump to separate the twigs a bit and make a small dent with your spoon. Continue to stir noodles in your pan every once in a while, which is now being kept warm on low heat.
Step 5: Laying Eggs.
Add three candy eggs of differing colors to the dents in the nests. As the chocolate cools, it will adhere the eggs to the nests.
Step 6: Shape Nests
Because it is hard to shape the nests with the large spoon before the eggs are added, you can use a knife or spoon to gently press the twigs back into the nest if you like a more rounded shape. Be careful not to move the eggs.
Step 7: Glue Down the Peep.
Peeps are optional. By this time you should have about 18 nests depending on the size you have chosen. There will be a tiny bit of chocolate on the sides and bottom of your pan. Scrape it off with a spatula and apply a little bit to the bottom of each Peep. Lay the Peep on top of the eggs and allow the chocolate to cool before moving. If you don't have enough chocolate left, sprinkle just a few chocolate chips in your still warm pan to use to glue your Peeps to the eggs.
Step 8: Package Your Easter Nests.
Allow your nests to cool for 15-30 minutes on waxed paper. When cool, insert them into a zip loc sanwich bag to keep them fresh. Happy eating!!