Easter is the only holiday I don’t cook. Our tradition is to find an upscale buffet and take our time grazing. The last few years we’ve done this in a major city about an hour away that has a restaurant with amazing food. It has upscale prices, but worth every dollar. We meet our daughter and her hubby and a good time is had by all. Burp.
So I really have very few Easter recipes. I guiltlessly admit I have never cooked a ham, my P.S. does that the rare times we have ham. I make a lot of egg dishes, but no eggs are boiled and dyed pretty colors since the kids left home. I do make a yearly cheesecake to enjoy in the evening when we’re finally not full to bursting anymore. Some years I don’t even do that much.
This year I happened to buy a bag of Reese’s peanut butter eggs and they were so cute. I saw a recipe on one of the blogs I read regularly and couldn’t resist making nests. They were made by Becca at Amuse Your Bouche (that blog name still makes me laugh every single time I read it) so they must be good!
I had milk chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in my baking cupboard. I had those little Reese’s eggs. All I needed to pick up was the shredded wheat biscuits. The big old-fashioned ones, not the dozens of bite sized ones now sold, mostly sugar coated. Cheesh! I was in one grocery store and searched for 20 minutes before I realized the space where they were normally was empty. Drat!
I wanted to stick true to the recipe, but I did end up changing it slightly. My P.S. and I both like shredded wheat, and that was the charm about the nests. They would be semi-nutritious and make us feel healthy by eating them. Mostly. I hit up another grocery store and bingo, I found the big biscuits. I was ready to build my nests.
Yes I laughed at that, but I also realize it’s the season for birds to be building nests and raising their new families. I’m an old bird, but I still remember the birds and the bees and that Spring stuff. Although I don’t think bees build nests. I’m a city girl through and through but even I know that bees have hives. Just not the itchy scratchy kind of hives.
Having covered the birds and the bees, we return to our regularly scheduled recipe. Easter nests. I melted one cup of chocolate chips and two cups of peanut butter chips in a metal bowl over hot water, stirring the chocolate mixture was smooth and melted. I wanted more peanut butter in the chocolate as well as in my little eggs.
I’d broken up the wheat biscuits and had them in a larger bowl, ready to mix. Because I had an extra cup of melted chips, I used 3 biscuits, which happened to be how many were in one paper packet in the cereal box. The corners were a bit more difficult to break up, but keep crushing them with your fingers; eventually they’ll all be the same size.
I poured the wheat pieces into the bowl of melted chocolate and mixed well.
I wanted smaller nests, mini muffin tin sized, and so used a spoon to portion out the nesting material into the small muffin cups. (I didn’t spray the tins as they will be chilled when the nests are done and they pop out easily when cold. I also didn’t want the outsides of the nests to be tacky or greasy.) I pressed down on the centers to form the nest, leaving the sides a bit rough, much like a nest would be.
I pressed two Reese’s eggs into the center of each nest, and they further formed them into real looking nests.
I put the muffin tins into the refrigerator for several hours to harden, then removed the tin and popped the nests out.
I stored my nests in a plastic container, covered, and returned them to the fridge.
Later I removed them and let them come to room temperature before serving.
I liked the shredded wheat in these nests, I’d never have thought to do it on my own. I’ve made the chow mein noodle nests many times and never thought to use another type of material. With the chow mein kind, I usually use milk chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. That might be a good change for the shredded wheat recipe as well. Someone let me know if they try that!
3 large shredded wheat biscuits
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups peanut butter chips
Mini candy eggs such as Cadbury, Reese’s, Nestle, etc
Melt chocolate and peanut butter chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each or in a bowl over boiling water.
Crumble shredded wheat into another bowl. Pour shredded wheat into the melted chocolate carefully, mixing well.
Drop spoonfuls into mini muffin tins until mixture is used up. You don’t need to grease or spray the tins. The nests will pop out easily when they are chilled.
Press down center with a spoon or your fingers to form a nest. Place a candy egg or two in the center of each nest.
Refrigerate until firm. Remove to store in covered container.
Made about 30 nests.
Adapted from Amuse Your Bouche.