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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cadbury Mini Egg Nest Cookies

Confession time. I have a lech for Cadbury Mini Eggs. I can’t stand their humongous distant cousins, the Cadbury Crème Eggs, with they’re saccharinely-sweet white and yellow gooey centers. But those mini eggs…boy howdy. There’s something’ about ‘em, man, and I just can’t stay away.

Perhaps it’s the ultra-thin outer candy shell that splinters into fine shards of candy goodness when you bite into a mini egg. Or maybe it’s the rich, almost velvety chocolate inside that nearly melts in your mouth. It could be the springy-pastel-baby-nursery colors they come in, with that very faint be-speckling of brown that adds a sense of authenticity to each and every egg.

Whatever it is about these tiny treats that makes them so addictive, it’s dangerous. Without proper self-control I may be tempted to eat an entire bag in one sitting. Which is exactly why (after buying a bag on Friday) I decided I would have to make something with them, and quick, dispersing to friends and roommates, lest I morph into a premature Easter glutton.

After wracking my brain about what to do with these lovely little orbs, I finally settled on what seemed to be the logical choice: Nest Cookies.

I modified a butter cookie recipe, adding a few extras, and with a bit of magic, nest cookies were hatched.

Cadbury Mini Egg Nest Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg -- separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Finely chopped nuts (I used almonds)
Powdered sugar
Lemon juice
More shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Dump a bag of coconut onto a baking sheet and pop it in the oven, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it's toasty brown.

Meanwhile, mix the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut. Sift together then add flour and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside. Roll cookie dough into small balls (about 1 inch). Dip in beaten egg whites, then roll in finely chopped nuts.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet (I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper). Bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and quickly press thumb gently on top of each cookie. (Umm, hi. Those cookies are fresh from the oven, and therefore hot. Ain’t no way I’m stickin’ my thumb on these buggers! I opted for the handle of a rolling pin instead.)

Return to oven and bake 8 minutes longer.

Remove from oven and make a lemon glaze. Mix together about a full cup of powdered sugar, and 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Spoon a dollop of glaze into the thumbprint, then squish some toasted coconut into the impression. Next, dip one or two mini eggs into the glaze, and position them on top of the coconut. (The glaze keeps everything together, so the eggs and coconut don't fall off of the cookies).

Uh-oh…looks like one egg is ready to hatch! I wonder what would pop out of a mini egg? A fluffy Easter bunny-chick? A chocolately Cadbury hatchling? Hmmm.


+ If you double the recipe, it should make exactly 30 cookies.

+ Chopped pecans might be better, but I had almonds in the cupboard to use up, so that’s what I used.

+ The cookies are really buttery and not too terribly flavorful, so they complement the richness of the mini eggs quite nicely. The coconut and lemon add a bit of flavor too.