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« Easter Chick Cupcakes | Main | Strawberry Pancakes »
Sunday
Apr102011

Chocolate Nests

Chocolate Nests

It's no secret that I'm clumsy. My parents like to joke that they should have named me Grace. Oh, the irony. If only they had the foresight to actually do so—now that would have been truly ironic.

Unfortunately, my clumsiness (and uncanny ability to trip while standing still) extends to the kitchen. I'm a hazard to myself. I've burned myself more often than I can count. Currently, my arms and hands are host to a grand total of six burns. I honestly couldn't tell you where half of them came from. It's reached the point where I don't even notice when I've done it. Sometimes I tell people I won a battle between a renegade cupcake pan and myself. But really, who am I trying to kid? That cupcake pan kicked my butt.

I'm just glad baking doesn't require much knife work.

Chocolate Nests

After all that fuss, I decided that it might be smart to make something no-bake this week. No knives, no ovens, no chance to injure myself unless I seriously forget the function of a spatula.

In honor of spring and the upcoming Easter holiday, I thought these chocolate nests would be perfect. I remember seeing these in cookbooks as a child, but I had never made or eaten them before. I figured it was time to put my childhood curiosity to rest. Since Easter candy is rampant this time of year, it's the best time of year to make these treats.

Chocolate Nests

These Chocolate Nests are made from chow mein noodles coated in peanut butter and chocolate. I was initially hesitant to use chow mein noodles for these treats (chow mein noodles are associated more with stir fry and less with dessert in my head), but these noodles were destined for this dessert. I couldn't have been more wrong about them. They provide the perfect crunch and look with minimal taste so the chocolate and peanut butter really shine through. You can use any candy of your choosing for the eggs—mini candy eggs, jelly beans, foil wrapped chocolate eggs. The sky is really the limit here.

Chocolate Nests

Yields 8-10 3-inch nests

3 cups crispy chow mein noodles
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
30 candy robin eggs (I used mini whoppers, but you could use jelly beans, foil wrapped eggs, or anything egg shaped)

In a medium mixing bowl, place the chow mein noodles.

In a small saucepan, melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter over low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over the noodles and stir until evenly coated.

On a cookie sheet covered in parchment or wax paper, take a handful of noodles and form a nest, making an indent in the center. Continue doing so until all the noodles are used. Refrigerate the cookies to set the chocolate for 30-45 minutes before serving. Place eggs in nests. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Reader Comments (25)

These are adorable! I would like to make them for my daughters preschool party, but they are a "peanut" free school, any suggestions on what you can use if you are allergic or can't use peanut butter? Love your blog!
04.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSugarFoot Designs
This is such a cute idea! And I love the thought of sweet chow mein noodles.
04.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
SugarFoot Designs-- You can easily adapt this recipe to swap the peanut butter for something else! I'd suggest using 1/2 cup butterscotch chips (love chocolate and butterscotch together) or use more chocolate chips and sprinkle in some toffee pieces for added crunch. You could also use white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips to give a more "authentic" nest look. Thanks for asking!
04.10.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Just discovered your blog and I LOVE it!!! Definitely going to be a regular here. Thanks. It's lovely.
04.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheri
Chow mein noodles?! I thought they would be pretzels
04.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMK
MK-- I know, I was also hesitant to initially use chow mein noodles, but they work so well with these cookies and taste wonderful covered in chocolate and peanut butter. Plus, the noodles are spindly and crooked enough to look like nests.
04.11.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Sugarfoot... Have you looked into the hazlenut spreads? I am not sure if they are "peanut" free, but I think they would work just the same. Nutella is a brand, but I prefer the City Market brand better...
04.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHillary
These little nests are awesome. What a great idea :)
04.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hillary & Sugarfoot-- If allergies are the concern (especially if making these for a school class), a lot of children and adults (including myself) are also allergic to tree nuts and that could be a problem. Especially since Nutella masks so well (and looks just like chocolate).
04.11.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I second the word "adorable" as that was my first thought. Just the thing for Easter. They can also be upgraded with a good quality chocolate (such as courveture available in baking sections of high end stores) or the best chocolate chips available. I could imagine a number of desserts served in these little nests, even ice cream if made a touch larger and served on a plate (though the picture is perfect as is!).
I just made these with my 4 year old son and they're a total hit. I came across your blog from food porn daily this week and I LOVE it. I'm also a fellow Montrealer! Well, we live south of the city now, closer to the US border, but I spent my college years downtown. :)
04.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Just made some for the Easter party we are going to today. Thank you! :)
04.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterElaine
@SugarFoot You can use NoNuts! My son has a nut allergy (which is quite unfortunate because I LOVE peanut butter anything, but my love for him is more than peanut butter!! :) .) NoNuts is a golden pea butter that I have used to substitute peanut butter and it works quite well! I'm planning on using it and giving these creative egg nests a try! Now to find out if chow mein noodles are made with eggs because that's another allergy we work around!
04.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
We too are nut free in our house. I'm going to try making them with the chocolate chips and marshmallows or marshmallow creme. If that doesn't work, I'll use the butterscotch chips. These really are too cute for words! I'm going to make them for a tea I'm having.
04.24.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCB
Super easy to make!! I’m going to make these for my children to give their friends during the Easter season. I bought some really cute candy bags from Box and Wrap…the one I chose has bunnies on the bag. I believe half of the gift is in the packaging.
02.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey
Just an FYI, not for a particular holiday, but just because, and if you like butterscotch, just melt butterscotch chips and mix with the chow mein noodles. Awesome also. 2 bags chips/1 bag noodles!
02.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterVette
I haven't had these in ages so I was so excited to see them here. I used to have them with butterscotch as a child, but like the chocolate/PB combo better.
03.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily B.
These are so adorable! I'm totally making these for dessert for Easter. Have you tried making them with pretzel sticks? Does it not come out as well?
03.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPReem
PReem-- As long as you break them up so they are not so long, I see no reason why you couldn't use pretzels! Great idea.
03.5.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
FYI these are totally doable without the peanut butter! In fact my daughter prefers them without it. I find that the ones with only chocolate held together and formed nests better.
03.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Just made them. I think next time I would use peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. The peanut butter added too much oil and the chocolate melted too quickly when the nests were picked up. Also next time I'm going to break up the noodles just a bit. They were a little too long to make neat nests. My granddaughter will be thrilled when I put Sour Patch jelly beans in the nests tomorrow.
04.7.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCanadianGram
I made these with Fiber One (the bran cereal)! I didn't want to make huge nests, so I poured the cereal into one of my ice trays and then poured the melted chocolate/pb on top of that! To eat them, I plopped them out into plastic baggies (they melt in your hands!). Perfect way to get rid of all the Fiber One that my picky grandpa refuses to eat! :D
08.12.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDylan
Help! I've made these once before, the chow mein noodles were too hard to eat? What type of chow mein noodles did you use? Did you cook them first?

Also, a note to your nut-free school readers/comments - try Wow! Butter. It's toasted soynut butter, tastes like kraft style peanut butter (ie. sweeter than a natural peanut butter) but it works great for flavor in baking.
04.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKiley
Kiley-- You need to buy the prepackaged crispy chow mein noodles (no cooking required). They are used primarily to top salads or stir fry dishes (they are not uncooked noodles). Alternatively, you could use a bran cereal. It has about the same texture and crunchiness. Thanks for the suggestion!
04.16.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
This was great and my kids loved getting their hands "dirty" with chocolate! I found adding the eggs prior to putting in the frig let you get the perfect look as you could better position the eggs while the nest can move. We added the nests to oil-sprayed muffin tins to give them a consistent size.
04.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

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