Yesterday, Michael and I spent the afternoon and evening with a group of friends, celebrating Ostara and the start of spring. Normally, for potlucks, I try very hard to make a healthy dish to take, but several people had that covered and I decided to make an old family favorite treat - Springtime Birds Nest Candies. I've done these many different ways, and I'll share a few variations with you later in this entry, but this is how I did it this year. I made two varieties - one with butterscotch chips and one with dark chocolate chips.
The first step is to melt the chips and peanut butter together- this can be done in the microwave, but I prefer to set up a double boiler on the stove, because it will have to be stirred regularly.
I used a bowl big enough to contain the melted chips and peanut butter as well as the chow mein noodles once they get stirred in. I put the bowl inside my metal colander and suspended it over boiling water in a large stock pot.
Once that happened, I lifted the colander and bowl, and set it on a plate away from the heat, and added 2 cans of chow mein noodles, mixing thoroughly to coat.
I find that it helps to add the second can a bit at a time - it's better if they are coated as thinly as possible, so once you think you've added as much as you can, add the rest!
Once they were coated, I used two spoons to lift a small amount and laid them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (waxed works fine, too).
Put a little indent in the center, and place a Cadbury Mini Egg into it. If you're using something smaller, like mini jelly beans, you can add two or three, to create a birds nest effect. These are ridiculously rich, though, so I kept it to only one egg!
I tucked the tray into the refrigerator to chill. It doesn't take long - a half hour will do it, although longer is fine!
I made two batches - each batch made about 24 nests. These keep well in the refrigerator, and can be put into cellophane bags as lovely tuck ins for an Easter Basket. Enjoy!
Springtime Birds Nest Candies
makes 24 2 1/2" nests
1 bag butterscotch or chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 cans chow mein noodles
48 Cadbury mini eggs
Melt chips and peanut butter over a double boiler until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and mix in chow mein noodles, blending to coat thoroughly.
Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper. Top each nest with a candy egg. Put in refrigerator to chill.
Coating: can use candy coating instead of chips, or try coconut oil and cocoa (keep in the refrigerator!)
Crunch: try Rice Krispies, instant oats or coconut flakes.
Eggs: Jelly Bellies, Dried cranberries or blueberries
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