Easter’s only a few days away, and if you’re looking for a simple holiday treat or a fun activity for your candy-addled kids, look no further. These edible bird nests are simple to make, look adorable when they’re done, and best of all, taste great. I first made them for a wedding shower a few months ago, and they were a big hit, so I made a batch for the office this week. Margaux has a weird thing about only eating Peeps after they’ve gone stale, but everyone else enjoyed them. Here’s how make them yourself.
Collect your ingredients. All you need are chow mein noodles (I used La Choy), marshmallows, butter, your choice of candy to fill your nests, cooking spray, and a pistachio puree with red wine reduction. Just kidding. You just need the first five things.
The process is the same as making Rice Krispies Treats, only with the chow mein noodles subbing in for cereal. The measurements quoted here yield about 12 cupcake-sized nests, or one really huge nest that would be about the right size for a real bunny, if bunnies sat in nests.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter and three cups of marshmallows in a pot over medium-low heat. Watch as the marshmallows puff up and spread into a gooey blob and do not consider the fact that this is probably what they do inside your body when you ingest them.
When the marshmallow mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in five cups of chow mein noodles. Combine until well blended. It will look kinda gross.
Spray a cupcake pan generously with cooking spray, and then spray some on your fingers. Take some of the mixture (probably about half a cup’s worth, but you can eyeball this depending on how tall and thick you want your nests to be) and press it into the cupcake tin, using your fingers to mold the nests. Press outwardly to the tin’s walls, creating a cavity in the center, until you’re satisfied with the look. Add more of the mixture as needed. Make sure your hand looks as pale and veiny as possible while doing this. Definitely don’t get a manicure, because it’s not like your fingers are going to be broadcast on a well-read blog or anything.
When you’re done, move your 13 Lean Cuisines and assorted cartons of Ben and Jerry’s out of the way and stick the tin into the freezer for an hour or longer. This will help them stay together when you remove them from the tin, which I do using a knife. They should pop right out. Oh, you should’ve already washed your hands by this point, because they are covered in greasy fake butter and marshmallow goo. You should’ve washed them before you stuck your fingers in the mixture, too, but I hope I didn’t have to explain that.
Now, fill the nests with your favorite egg-resembling candy or a marshmallow Peep. You could use any candy you like, really, but you’re a lot less likely to find a nest filled with Sour Patch Kids in nature, and we’re going for realism here.
You could also make itty-bitty versions using a mini-cupcake tin, because unequivocally, everything is cuter in miniature. To make this little hatch-pad for one, I broke up the chow mein noodles before mixing it with the marshmallows so they would mold better in the small tin. This would look precious perched atop a cupcake, no?
Serve, eat, and enjoy. If you’re handing these out to coworkers, party guests, or the like, I recommend placing nests individually in cellophane bags so they don’t stick to one another. Tie with a pretty ribbon and affix a cute handmade tag to achieve maximum compliments, which is the point of doing anything, really.
Happy Easter, D Home-ies!
EDIBLE NESTS RECIPE (yields about 12 cupcake-sized nests)
•1/4 c butter
•3 c marshmallows
•5 c chow mein noodles
•Candy to fill
1. Melt butter and marshmallows together over medium-low heat. Remove from heat.
2. Add chow mein noodles, and mix til combined.
3. Spray a cupcake tin with cooking spray, as well as your fingers. Mold the mixture into nest shapes in the cupcake tin.
4. Place in freezer for at least an hour. Remove nests using a knife.
5. Fill with your choice of candy.