Hello, loves! Easter is nearly upon us and I didn’t want to leave you without a lovely little festive treat that is both healthy and delicious. I have always loved the idea of eggs in a nest for Easter time, but most nest cookies are full of sweetened condensed milk and sugary coconut (or are made with marshmallows and cereal!) These Easter egg nest cookies have no added sugar, are low carb, and are crispity crunchity coconutty deliciousness and can be whipped up in a flash.
First, you start with some coconut. You need unsweetened shredded coconut. The best kind for this application is a medium shred. You don’t want the really fine kind or coconut chips. This one is the most similar to the sweetened kind.
The secret to taking this coconut to the next level of deliciousness is to toast it quickly in a skillet on the stove. Seriously, when I was first developing this recipe I had the worst time stopping myself from snacking on toasted coconut straight.
To toast the coconut, heat it in a thin even layer in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until they’re evenly golden. You don’t want them to burn, so make sure to keep them moving. Once they’re lovely and fragrant and golden brown, transfer them to a bowl.
Add to the toasty coconut some melted coconut butter. Truth be told: Coconut butter can be kind of expensive. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There’s a product called creamed coconut that’s the exact same thing! And not only is it exactly the same thing, it’s a fraction of the price of jars of coconut butter. Now, it comes in a vacuum sealed bag, so you’ll need to transfer it to your own jar, but it’s totally worth it for the cost savings.
The other thing I added is some of this Vanilla Bean Powder (right now the particular brand I used is unavailable but here’s another brand that has good reviews.) You could also use a splash of vanilla extract, but I really like using vanilla powder for unbaked applications because it doesn’t have the alcohol flavor that extracts have when they’re uncooked.
After mixing this thoroughly, you shape it into nests by putting it in muffin tins and pushing it up the sides a bit. You want to make it as thin as possible, but make sure it’s spread evenly without any holes. It’s ok if it doesn’t go all the way up the sides.
You can make this in either regular sized muffin tins or mini ones, depending on your preference. This will make 12 nests in a regular sized muffin tin, or 24 mini ones.
Next you throw it the pan in the freezer for a good hour. You’ll need these to be really frozen to get them out. Once frozen, you can carefully slip the end of a knife in between the nest and the pan and pop them out. If you have any trouble, you can warm the bottom of the cavity with your hand a little to make it easier. And the awesome thing about this recipe is that if you totally screw up while removing it and break the whole thing, you can just microwave the pieces and remake it. Or just eat it.
I mean, you do you, friend.
For the eggs, I used my peanut butter cup recipe with a silicone egg mold. The most important thing to know when using a mold like this to make filled chocolates is to make sure you get a thick enough layer of chocolate at first. What worked for me was to spoon in a small amount of chocolate in the mold and then push it up the sides. Then I added another small amount of chocolate in the bottom of the mold before adding the peanut butter filling. Then fill the mold the rest of the way with chocolate.
This is the worst part of my job, guys. The part where I have to take bites of things to show you the inside. You should feel so sorry for me.
Two of these eggs fit perfectly in one of the larger nests. How cute are these?
If you want to make smaller nests with a mini muffin tin, it works better to use a smaller egg mold but they’re too small to fill with peanut butter. But if you want something other than plain chocolate, you can mix a little almond butter in with the chocolate for a truffle-like texture. You can use 1 Tablespoon of almond butter for every ounce of melted chocolate. Freezing it after you fill the mold will help them release easier. (You can totally use this recipe for the larger eggs as well.)
If you want to put the little blue flecks on your chocolate eggs like I did, you can use melted candy melts, or use a little coloring in white chocolate. And if you want to avoid even the slightest trace of sugar, you can actually color cocoa butter (which is what you see in my photos.) Melt 20 grams of cocoa butter. In a small bowl, mix one drop of gel food coloring with a powdered erythritol sweetener and then stir that into the cocoa butter.
To apply it to the eggs, I used the flat brush from this set. Just dip the brush into the colored cocoa butter and run your thumb through the bristles to flick the color onto the eggs.
But if that sounds too putzy for you (I know, I’m kind of a freak) you can also wrap the eggs with foil candy wrappers.
And there you have it! Some seriously adorable no bake Easter egg nests that aren’t loaded with sugar!
You can make easily make these ahead of time, too! The eggs will keep at room temperature for at least a week, and the nests can be kept in the fridge for the same amount of time.
No Bake Easter Egg Nests
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup melted coconut butter
dash of vanilla powder or vanilla extract
Place coconut in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir continuously until golden. Transfer to a bowl and mix with coconut butter and vanilla. Divide into 12 regular muffin tins or 24 mini muffin tins and spread thinly but evenly along the bottom and partway up the sides.
Place in the freezer for one hour. When frozen, remove from the muffin tins by carefully sliding the tip of a knife between the nest and the muffin tin and gently popping the nest out.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To serve, place 2-3 chocolate eggs in each nest.
Nutrition (for 1/12 recipe): Calories: 125 kcal; Total Carbs: 4.5g; Fiber: 3.2g; Net Carbs: 1.3g; Fat: 12.4g; Protein: 1.3g.