Spring is in full bloom! The birds are chirping and there are signs of new life, everywhere in nature. These macaroon nests are the perfect Spring treat and they are super easy to make, using only a few ingredients. I've been making them for years and have tried using several different types of macaroon recipes. They have all worked out well so, I think it would be hard to go wrong. For these, I used "The Best Coconut Macaroons" from thekitchn.com I like to tweak recipes and make adjustments when I bake so, instead of using sweetened, shredded coconut, I used unsweetened, organic long shred coconut from Nature's Fare Markets This worked well, because the recipe calls for 3 cups of shredded coconut which worked out to be exactly one 200g bag. I also toasted the coconut for about 5 minutes before hand, to give it a golden colour for a more realistic "nest look". Toasting it also brings out more of a deep coconut flavour.
I always use organic, free range eggs. When it comes to quality, flavour and texture these eggs are the best. I believe they make my treats taste better when I use them in my baking too. They also happen to be the most ethical choice. I whipped my sugar and egg whites into a meringue using my stand mixer. This gives the macarons a crunchier texture and helps them hold the nest shape a bit better. For a nice meringue consistency, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and then fold in the coconut with a spatula. You can also add in a bit more coconut to the recipe for even more crunch.
To create the nest shape, I used a 2 inch cookie scoop and dropped the cookies into a greased, nonstick muffin pan. Then, I used wet fingers to press the centre of the macaroon balls down to create the indents for the middle of the nests. This is super easy and a fun activity that your kids can do, to enjoy helping you in the kitchen. Once the macaroons are finished baking in the oven, make sure to let them cool completely before removing them from the muffin pan. At our house were on team "Mini Egg" around Easter so, we like to use Cadbury Mini Eggs to fill our birds nests. You can use any type of candy or chocolate eggs of your choice, to customize this treat to your liking. These nests make a cute Easter dessert or I've even included them with a Spring high tea.
Here in Vancouver, British Columbia our kids are off for Spring Break over Easter. These macaroon nests are easy and fun to make with your kids while they're on school holidays. They also make for a delicious Easter dessert that is low in sugar. I like this recipe because it doesn't use flour so, it's also good for those who have a gluten free diet. All the pastels, make it a pretty treat too!