The online world seems to go into a frenzy around Easter, and I was feeling the peer pressure. To me Easter is usually quite low-key, and although we are having Sunday lunch with my grandad tomorrow we didn't have much else planned.
I was getting quite envious of all the treats filling the internet, and felt compelled to try and rustle something up. First step, eggs, obviously it would seem something of a missed opportunity to omit the eggs at Easter.
Second step, some kind of Easter theme, bunnies, lambs, chicks, something baby animal related seem to be the most popular choices. I went even younger, and opted for eggs (again) - with the added bonus that they were pre-made, as it was lunchtime on Easter Saturday and I was in definite need of a quick win.
So what could I do, quickly, with the ingredients in my cupboard, that would magically turn into an Easter treat with the simple addition of some mini chocolate eggs I acquired from the supermarket during the my weekly food shop. Even more ideal was if it was something both grandad and The Husband would enjoy.
Lo and behold, coconut macaroons were fashioned into nests, and that is what I consider an Easter themed baking success. I'm very proud of these little treats, especially as they were quick, easy, and macaroons also happen to be one of the sweets my Grandad remembers his mum making for him when he was younger. Happy faces all round. And obviously, if you only get round to reading this recipe sometime next week, the macaroons are just as quick, simple and tasty without the mini eggs stuck on top.
These were very small chocolate eggs that I found in a jar at the supermarket - mixed with jelly snakes for some unknown reason, unless snakes are an Easter tradition that has passed me by, not the standard size "Mini Eggs" just so you don't think these are gigantic macaroons - I have done a helpful size comparison photograph below for your enjoyment.
I'm sure I'm not the first to think of these, in fact a quick google of Easter macaroon nests as I write this blog has shown me that plenty of people have done these before. However I am not going to let that dampen my pride! So if you are in need of a quick, store-cupboard, (also happens to be gluten free) Easter dish to stop you feeling entirely lacking in the festive food department, here's the recipe for you. Whether you bake or not over this long weekend, I hope you have a very Happy Easter.
Easter Macaroon Nests
Makes 18 Macaroons, Prep Time 10 Minutes, Cooking Time 20 Minutes
280g unsweetened desiccated coconut
3 egg whites
180g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
Approx 75 (very) mini chocolate eggs
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line three baking trays with non-stick paper.
- Separate three eggs, and put yolks aside. Lightly whisk the egg whites and add sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add coconut to egg white mixture and mix well until coconut is sticky but not wet.
- Using two teaspoons, or your hands, split mixture into 18 evenly sized mounds, placing 6 on each baking tray, well spaced apart.
- Use your thumb to make a small indent into the centre of each, to create the nest, and shape the sides slightly if required.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes. Place 4-5 chocolate eggs in each macaroon nest, and serve.