Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chocolate Coconut Nests for Easter (slight repeat from 2013!)

Ruthy here! I am repeating this wonderful, simple, marvelous Easter treat from three years ago because this has always been a family favorite and it's such an easy (and impressive) treat to take to parties or to use in baskets. You can use this candy as a "mound" without the jelly beans (like a drop cookie, with no baking!) but our favorite is to use the tiny jelly beans (not the weird flavored ones, okay?) to make the "bird" nest effect. 

Life has been crazy here the past two weeks, so much illness that we had to cancel my husband's retirement/birthday party for a couple of weeks. I've heard from folks across the country that many are feeling the same kind of push, so there's been little new cooking going on... but that's okay because this little trick is awesome and so much less expensive than buying the nests in stores. (I love the Russell Stover nests but I loved reproducing them, too!)

Easy-peasy, I'm tellin' youse.

Here's all you need: (I use the Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips or the Hershey's Milk Chocolate chips. Dark chocolate works, too, it's just a matter of taste...)

I keep toasted coconut in the freezer all the time. It's so simple, just lay a bag of coconut on a cookie sheet, spread it out, and toast in a 275° for about 20 minutes, give or take. I stir it around every five minutes or so. Remove from oven when most of the coconut has turned golden brown and is crisped up.

So for this easy peasy Easter treat:

Melt 2 bags of milk or dark chocolate chips over low heat. I use this method which helps prevent graying... some folks use the microwave. Whatever works for you!  Hershey's milk chocolate chips melt wonderfully with very little chance of graying as long as you melt them s-l-o-w-l-y. Which means you can get other stuff done...

Oh, RANDOM!!!! They're playing Mandisa's "Good Morning!" on K-Love right now and I used that as Lisa's favorite song in "The Lawman's Second Chance"...

 it's such a great song and I love the Toby Mac interlude!  Here's a link if you don't know what I'm talking about:  Mandisa's "Good Morning!"   But then come back here, okay???

I love this vintage Pyrex bowl. It brings back lots of memories of my mother and grandmother, and my older sister, cooking up wonderful things in these bowls! 

Put the first bag of chips in the bowl over a pot of very warm water. When they get soft, toss in the other bag and stir... stir again in a few minutes.... Once they've all "smoothed" (melted) add in about 2 cups of toasted coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto foil covered cookie sheet. Dip spoon in center to make nest "divet" or hollow. Mary Ruth likes helping Grammy!  :)  (Shamelessly exploiting small children for kitchen labor and to sell sweet books... And I'm okay with all of that, LOL!)

Now we add the bird eggs, aka: Jelly beans. I use smaller ones like they do at Russell Stover because they're SO STINKIN' CUTE!

Put in cool place (not like "hip" cool, or "chic" cool but temperature cool...) to firm up. No refrigeration needed.

Ah, help has arrived! They love the placing little "eggs" part the best!

And this is what they do at Russell Stovers:

You can buy one of these for $.99

We just made 23 of them in about ten minutes time (minus when I toasted the coconut and put it in a double zip-loc freezer bag...)  

For about $5.... Okay, maybe $6.  I buy chocolate chips at Sam's or when they're on sale and this week you can get two bags for $4.... so then $2 for the coconut and handful of jellybeans.

Pretty sweet deal, right?

If you have colored plastic wrap, it's cute to wrap them in it and put a smidge of tape on bottom.

And that's it.


Here's the bane to my diet:

Right here, in person:




Oh, I'm laughing because when I originally wrote this post, I think Mayor Bloomberg had just outlawed large drinks. Obviously I felt compelled to take a shot at him!

Holy Week is my favorite week of the year. Easter is still such a beautifully sacred holy day around here, and our 40 days of Lent are focused on remembering what's been done in our name... and being grateful for the amazing life we've been given.

Even with a few naughty kids, now and then!

So this week is filled with lovely services, quiet time, prayerful moments, and then the wonderful family celebration of the risen Lord on Sunday.

God is good, all the time...

And we are so blessed to be in a land where freedom of religion is a right... not a privilege.

God bless America, and happy Easter! 


  1. I remember this from the YankeeBelle archives...might just have to make it this year though. Can't go wrong with chocolate and coconut.

    Praying things settle down for you and that illness is vanquished from you and yours. Must be healthy for Easter.

    1. Kav, these are so wonderful! And I do homemade chocolate bark, too, by very gently melting either dark chocolate or milk chocolate chips, adding a teaspoon or two of cooking oil to the melted chip, and then stirring in roasted, salted chopped almonds or salted peanuts... and then just spread it out on a foil-lined cookie sheet, cook and break into pieces. Another family favorite!!!! And we're hoping we wiped out most of the plagues for Easter, we had a sick baby earlier this week, but she seemed happier yesterday, so here's hoping!!!! Happy Easter to you, my friend!!!

  2. The chocolate and coconut look YUM! I'll pass on the jelly beans though. LOL Of course, I do love gummies of all types. Maybe I could substitute. I wonder if they make gummie eggs?? :)

    1. Missy, how cute would these look with colorful little gummy bears, like it's a bear nest???? I think that would be adorable! No gummy worms, though, okay? GROSS. :)

  3. Those nests are just adorable!!! Must try these.

    1. Tina, we coconut lovers must stay on task with all things coconut... I've been craving coconut pie like they have at The Texas Hot down in Allegany County, but it was Lent so I made myself wait... and I'll put that recipe up in a week or two, they did a coconut custard pie with coconut topped meringue.... and it was so good!!!!

  4. Cute, cute candy for Easter! Hmmm, I have some Ghiradelli melting wafers left over from Christmas and some coconut. I also have some of those tiny "robin's eggs" that will go well in them...

    Yeah, I know. How do we have Ghiradelli left from Christmas? Especially with some first-class chocolate lovers in the house?

    I don't ask why, I just enjoy. :)

    1. Jan, the little robin's eggs are a great idea!!! YES! And Dave found me some M&M eggs, that are tiny like that, so today my tween/teen girls are making these with the M&M eggs as the bird eggs. All chocolate, All The Time, LOL! The robin's eggs are perfect! And we're looking at a solid Easter forecast (which is never a given around here) and a bad tooth two weeks ago and a root canal has made my Easter dress fit much more properly than expected! (BONUS!!!) Oh my stars, who'd a thought a bad tooth was the key to a quick diet? I'm so glad that little episode is behind me!!!

  5. You've just saved my day! I was wondering what to do with a young grandchild, and I think she'd love helping me make some of these. I have an easy unbaked recipe that our family call 'Turds' ... with chocolate, oatmeal and cocoanut, but yours sounds even easier, and the addition of jelly beans is perfect. :)

    1. Carol, we've made the oatmeal/coconut treats before, and the kids always loved helping... but these are great for a Grandma/Grandkid project with an Easter theme! Yay!!!

  6. These nests are just the thing to nibble while I drink a cup of tea and finish reading a terrific book titled "Back in the Saddle" :-)

    Nancy C

    1. Nancy, that is the perfect combo!!!! It's like tea with Ruthy, LOL! Thank you for the plug, my friend! And I hope you're loving the book... I love fixing the Stafford family!!!!

  7. Those Russell Stover nests are one of my favorites. I've made this recipe before, but I don't usually bother with the jelly beans. They may be one of the only candies I don't crave.